Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Licensure Regulations for School Personnel [8 VAC 20 ‑ 22]
Action Comprehensive Revision of the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 11/6/2015
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10/30/15  1:03 pm
Commenter: Jay Wilkins, Virginia Tech

Mathematics Specialist Endorsement

I agree with the statement entered by the Virginia Council of Mathematics Specialists (VCMS) regarding the requirement of a secondary mathematics teaching endorsement (6-12) for middle-school mathematics specialists. I feel that requiring the 6-12 endorsement for the middle school mathematics specialists will result in excluding some potentially very strong candidates from becoming middle school mathematics specialists and teacher leaders in their schools. As stated in the VCMS comment, "Requiring a secondary endorsement for middle grades specialists is a distraction from the primary goal of achieving the most sophisticated mathematical knowledge appropriate for the middle grades curriculum." I do believe that middle-school mathematics specialists need a strong subject matter knowledge, but requiring a 6-12 endorsement does not necessarily ensure that the specialists will have the important pedagogical content knowledge required for the middle school curriculum, and moreover, it does not ensure that teachers will have a deep understanding of how middle-grades children learn mathematics. For example, it does not ensure an understanding of the learning trajectories associated with fractions, proportional reasoning, and reasoning with integers that are extensions of the mathematics learned in the elementary grades. This is important knowledge that is often found with our strongest middle school mathematics teachers (knowledge that does not necessarily result from having a 6-12 endorsement).

I hope that the requirement of a secondary mathematics teaching endorsement (6-12) for mathematics specialists in the middles grades will be reconsidered.