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License Legislation Question

The Minnesota Board of Teaching (BOT) will be considering in September a licensure question that affects many science teachers. The Minnesota Science Teachers Association has been requested to survey school staff who may have an interest in this issue and to provide feedback and possible recommendations.

The question for the board will be whether in the case of science, a combination of licenses that includes a 9-12 license in content area X plus a 7-12 license in content area Y should be sufficient to consider the teacher licensed to teach courses in grades 7-8 in content area X.

Please complete a short survey on this question by July 29 at the bottom of this page.

Background:

An example of the situation that is being considered is a teacher that has a 7-12 Life Science license, who would like to be able to teach a middle school earth science course. Under the current interpretation of licensure rules, for that teacher to teach that course the teacher would have to add a General Science 5-8 license. The only current option for obtaining that license is through a college program. That teacher could add an Earth Science 9-12 license by passing the MTLE content area exam (if the teacher has taught at least three years in grades 7-12 or 9-12). This is a provision that only is available for 9-12 science licenses. The question before the board will be whether that combination of licenses should be considered sufficient for teaching middle school earth science. 

The general principle that guides licensure rules is that for any course the teacher must have both content expertise and pedagogical understand for the grade band of instruction. The required content expertise is identified by the licensure standards and measured through course taking and the MTLE exam in that content area. The pedagogy is generally demonstrated through education courses focusing on the grade band and the MTLE pedagogy test at that grade range. Individual colleges determine which courses apply for the content and the pedagogy with review and approval by the Board of Teaching.

The feedback will be compiled by the board of Minnesota Science Teachers Assn. and recommendations will be communicated to the staff of the Department of Education (MDE) and the Board of Teaching. If you have questions on the situation described above, feel free to contact John Olson, MDE Science Specialist, john.c.olson@state.mn.us, 651-582-8673.


The Minnesota Board of Teaching is expected to consider the following question at an upcoming meeting:

If in the case of science, a combination of licenses that includes a 9-12 license in content area X plus a 7-12 license in content area Y should be considered licensed to teach courses in grades 7-8 in content area X.  [exact language will be determined later]

(For a more complete explanation of the question, please refer to the information above.)

I suggest that the Board of Teaching take the following action on this issue:

 Support the proposed action
 Decline the proposed action

My primary role is (choose one):

 Teacher
 Administrator
 Curriculum coordinator/coach
 Other:

The grade levels I teach or administer/coordinate are (choose one or more):

 Elementary  
 Middle School  
 High School  
 College/University  

My license(s) are (choose one or more):

 Physics, Chemistry, or Physical Science  
 Earth Science  
 Life Science  
 General Science (e.g. 5-8, 5-9)  
 Administrative  
 Other:  

My school setting is

 Urban
 Suburban
 Large Rural (more than 200 students per grade)
 Small Rural (less than 200 students per grade)