8th Grade Algebra Teachers in Arkansas to Need State Nod
Lindsay E. Carlton has taught mathematics to students at different grades, with different ability levels. Now, the young educator’s state wants to recognize her ability to work with one group in particular: 8th graders enrolled in introductory algebra.
Ms. Carlton is one of many math educators across Arkansas who plan to acquire a new, unusual state endorsement to teach Algebra 1. Arkansas officials decided earlier this year to require all 8th grade teachers who want to teach Algebra 1, one of the most fundamental and challenging courses on the way to more advanced math, to obtain that state credential. Teachers licensed in high school math do not need the new endorsement. A number of experts on math teaching said they believe the Arkansas endorsement is one of the only course-specific math credentials of its kind in the country.
Policymakers and educators routinely point to the need to shore up the content knowledge of middle-grades teachers, many of whom have earned elementary school certification. Arkansas officials see the new endorsement as a way to ensure that teachers are qualified to cover the math content as more students in the state enroll in Algebra 1 in 8th grade, rather than...
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