Secondary Teacher Preparation Policy
The state should ensure that middle school teachers demonstrate sufficient knowledge of appropriate grade-level content. This goal has been revised since 2017.
Content Test Requirements: Oregon offers Foundational Level endorsements in English language arts, math, science, and social studies. These are the middle school level endorsements and require a single-subject content test.
However, the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission Program Review and Standards Handbook, describes the model for demonstrating content knowledge, that includes the following options:
Test Requirement http://www.orela.nesinc.com/ Teacher Standards and Practices Commission Program Review and Standards Handbook (2019) pgs. 69-70 and Appendix 2 https://www.oregon.gov/tspc/TSPC%20Programs%20Program%20Approval%20Process/Program_Review_and_Standards_Handbook.pdf Oregon Administrative Rules 584-210-0030; 584-220-0015; 584-220-0085; 0090; 0095; 0100 Course to Endorsement Catalogue https://www.oregon.gov/ode/educator-resources/Pages/Teacher-Licensure.aspx
Require subject-matter testing for all middle school teacher candidates.
Oregon wisely requires subject-matter tests for most middle school teachers but should address any deficiencies that undermine this policy (see Middle School Licensure Deficiencies analysis and recommendations).
Oregon did not respond to NCTQ's request to review this analysis for accuracy.
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.