Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy
The state should ensure that secondary teachers are sufficiently prepared to teach appropriate grade-level content.
Ohio requires that its secondary teacher candidates pass a Praxis II content test to teach any core secondary subjects. Unfortunately, Ohio permits a significant loophole to this important policy by allowing both general science and general social studies licenses, without requiring subject-matter testing for each subject area within these disciplines (see Goals 1-G and 1-H).
Further, to add an additional field to a secondary license, teachers must also pass a Praxis II content test. However, as stated above, Ohio cannot guarantee content knowledge in each specific subject for those secondary teachers who add general science or general social studies endorsements.
Ohio Administrative Code 3301-24-05
Require subject-matter testing for all secondary teacher candidates.
Ohio wisely requires subject-matter tests for most secondary teachers but should address any loopholes that undermine this policy (see Goals 1-G and 1-H). This applies to the addition of endorsements as well.
Ohio asserted that it does not offer general science but rather an "integrated science" license. The state argued that with integrated science licensure, subject-matter testing for each subject area within the discipline does occur because it requires a combination of two tests: a broader one and a more specific one, adding: "The structure of this testing requirement was designed specifically to ensure that all components of the integrated area are tested." This can be accomplished in ways other than just requiring a separate, single-discipline test for each component—for example, by requiring a combination of tests that, when taken together, test each subject area within the discipline
The issue of general science is addressed more fully in Goal 1-G. Ohio should ensure that its requirements do not make it possible for secondary teachers to be licensed to teach any core subjects with insufficient content knowledge.
Research studies have demonstrated the positive impact of teacher content knowledge on student achievement. For example, see D. Goldhaber, "Everyone's Doing It, But What Does Teacher Testing Tell Us About Teacher Effectiveness?" Journal of Human Resources, vol. XLII no.4 (2007). See also Harris, D., and Sass, T., "Teacher Training, Teacher Quality and Student Achievement." Teacher Quality Research (2007).Evidence can also be found in White, Pressely, DeAngelis "Leveling up: Narrowing the teacher academic capital gap in Illinois" Illinois Education Research Council (2008); D. Goldhaber and D. Brewer, "Does teacher certification matter? High School Certification Status and Student Achievement." Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. 22: 129-145. (2000); and D. Goldhaber and D. Brewer, "Why Don't Schools and Teachers Seem to Matter? Assessing the impact of Unobservables on Educational Productivity." Journal of Human Resources (1998).