The state should ensure that social studies teachers know all the subject matter they are licensed to teach.
Ohio only offers secondary teachers a general social studies certification. Candidates are required to pass the Praxis II "Social Studies" content knowledge assessment. Teachers with this license are not limited to teaching general social studies but rather can teach any of the topical areas.
Middle school social studies teachers in Ohio must earn an area of concentration in social studies, along with another content area. Commendably, candidates must also pass the Praxis II "Middle School Social Studies" test.
Ohio Administrative Code 3301-24-05 Praxis Testing Requirements www.ets.org
Require secondary social studies teachers to pass tests of content knowledge for each social studies discipline they intend to teach.
States that allow general social studies certifications—and only require a general knowledge social studies exam—are not ensuring that their secondary teachers possess adequate subject-specific content knowledge. Ohio's required assessment combines all subject areas (e.g., history, geography, economics) and does not report separate scores for each subject area. Therefore, candidates could answer many—perhaps all—history questions, for example, incorrectly, yet still be licensed to teach history to high school students.
Ohio recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.