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: Texas offers the following middle school licenses: core subjects 4-8, combination English Language Arts and Reading and Social Studies, combination Math and Science, and single subjects in grades 4-8.
Candidates for single subject licenses must pass the applicable grades Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) 4-8 single subject tests. While candidates taking the core subjects 4-8 exam must earn a "satisfactory level of performance" in each core subject covered by the examination, candidates taking the tests required for the combination licenses are not required to do so. Each combination test provides one composite score.
Provisional and Emergency Licensure: Because provisional and emergency licensure requirements are scored in Provisional and Emergency Licensure , only the test requirements for the state's initial license are considered as part of this goal.
Test Requirement http://www.tx.nesinc.com/ Texas Education Code Subchapter B Sec. 21.048 Texas Administrative Code Title 19 Rule 233.2 through .4
Require content testing in all core areas.
Texas should require subject-matter testing for all middle school teacher candidates in every core academic area they intend to teach as a condition of initial licensure. To ensure meaningful middle school content tests, the state should set its passing scores to reflect high levels of performance.
Texas recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis, however, this analysis was updated subsequent to the state's review.
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.