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 Test Requirements:
South Carolina requires middle-level certification (grades 5-8) for middle school teachers. All new middle school teachers are required to pass a Praxis II single-subject content test at either the middle school or secondary level to attain licensure.
Praxis Test Requirement www.ets.org http://ed.sc.gov/educators/certification/certification-forms/forms/south-carolina-educator-certification-required-examinations/ South Carolina Code of State Regulations 43 SC Code of Laws Section 59-155-180 Standards, Policies, and Procedures for South Carolina Educator Preparation Units (2016) http://ed.sc.gov/educators/educator-preparation/educator-preparation-units/accreditation/policies-and-regulations/standards-policies-and-procedures-for-south-carolina-educator-preparation-units/
Ensure that content tests adequately measure sufficient knowledge in all subjects.
South Carolina should ensure that its subject-matter tests for middle school teacher candidates is sufficiently rigorous. The state should ensure that the required passing scores on each test reflect high levels of performance. Doing so will help to ensure that every student is taught by a teacher with adequate subject-matter knowledge.
South Carolina recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
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.