Secondary Teacher Preparation Policy
The state should ensure that middle school teachers are sufficiently prepared to teach appropriate grade-level content and for the ways that college- and career-readiness standards affect instruction of all subject areas. This goal was reorganized in 2017.
Content Knowledge Requirements: All new middle school teachers in Oklahoma who are licensed to teach grades 5-9 are required to pass a Certification Examinations for Oklahoma Educators (CEOE) Middle Level Single-Subject tests to attain licensure.
Academic Requirements: Oklahoma requires teachers who teach a single subject in grades 5-9 to be certified at the middle or secondary level; candidates must earn a major in a content-related area.
Middle School Licensure Deficiencies: Unfortunately, Oklahoma offers a generalist 1-8 license. Because middle school licensure deficiencies are scored in 3-B: Middle School Licensure Deficiencies it is not considered as part of the score for the Middle School Content Knowledge goal.
Test Requirement www.ceoe.nesinc.com OAC 210:20-9-172 and 210:20-9-9 Oklahoma Statutes 70-6-189.1 Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Academic Affairs Procedure Handbook, 3.21.4
Require subject-matter testing for all middle school teacher candidates.
Oklahoma wisely requires subject-matter tests for most middle school teachers but should address any deficiencies that undermine this policy (see 3-B: Middle School Licensure Deficiencies analysis and recommendations).
Middle school teachers licensed to teach multiple subjects should earn two subject-matter minors.
Oklahoma should encourage middle school teachers licensed to teach multiple subjects to earn two subject-matter minors. This would allow candidates to gain sufficient knowledge to pass state licensing tests, and it would increase schools' staffing flexibility.
Oklahoma reiterated that teachers of core single subjects at the middle school level must pass Middle Level Content Exams: Middle Level English, Middle Level/Intermediate Mathematics, Middle Level Social Studies and Middle Level Science.
3A: Middle School Content Knowledge
Middle school grades are critical years of schooling. It is in these years that far too many students fall through the cracks. However, requirements for the preparation and licensure of middle school teachers can be especially problematic. States need to distinguish the knowledge and skills needed by middle school teachers from those needed by an elementary teacher. Whether teaching a single subject in a departmentalized setting or teaching multiple subjects in a self-contained setting, middle school teachers must be able to teach significantly more advanced content than elementary teachers. In order to do so, middle school teachers must be deeply knowledgeable about every subject they will be licensed to teach, and able to pass a licensing test in every core subject to demonstrate this knowledge. The notion that someone should be identically prepared to teach first grade or eighth grade mathematics seems ridiculous, but states that license teachers on a K-8 generalist certificate essentially endorse this idea.