I wrote last month about my surprise at learning that only about half of teachers were education majors. Dan Goldhaber sent me a note pointing out that a number of states encourage potential teachers to do an “academic” major, and then get teacher training separately. Dan also pointed me in the direction of Sandi Jacobs at the National Council on Teacher Quality, who has put together state-by-state data on the rules on doing an academic concentration for elementary schools teachers.
I’ve taken the data from the NCTQ’s State Teacher Policy Yearbook and put it into a map.
Most of the country does not require elementary school teachers to have an academic concentration either as a major or as a minor. And of those states that do, NCTQ finds that for many there are significant loopholes in the requirement.
One wants to be a little careful with all this. Doing an academic concentration isn’t sufficient training to be a teacher, you need teacher training too. But training teachers who don’t master basic college level material on some subject isn’t a good idea either. That appears to be where we are today.