The state should ensure that social studies teachers know all the subject matter they are licensed to teach.
Vermont offers secondary certification in general social studies. Candidates are required to pass either the Praxis II "Social Studies" content test or the "Social Studies: Interpretation of Materials" test. Teachers may teach all history and social science courses in grades 7-12.
Middle school social studies teachers in Vermont must earn a middle grades endorsement. Candidates are required to earn a minor in the content area and, commendably, must also pass the Praxis II "Middle School Social Studies" content test.
Supplement A (5440) to the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Education Manual of Rules, 5445(13) 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. Vermont'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.
Vermont recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.