8th Grade High School Credit Question

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SF_Giants66, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    Last spring, I was in a field class where I taught two different lessons to an Algebra 1 course. This class was taught by an 8th grade teacher who told me all of the 8th grade teachers get at least one Algebra 1 class to teach. However, this teacher in college was only certified grades K-8 (they recently changed the grade level certifications) and she only took up to Calculus 1 and passed with a D-.

    At my current school field school, my teacher is also an 8th grade math teacher, but she doesn't have any Algebra 1 classes. She said that it is because you have to be high school certified to teach an 8th grade class for high school credit.

    Clearly, if that is a state law, then the first school was violating it, because she was not a high school certified teacher, nor were all the other teachers that were teaching Algebra 1.

    In this state currently, middle school teachers are required to have certification for grades 5-9, which I think all grade 9 classes would be for high school credit, so I wouldn't know why a teacher couldn't teach an 8th grade high school credit class. Is it possible that it might just be a state or district policy? I would think it would be difficult to find teachers with a secondary degree that would want to teach at middle school, but I don't know.
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    It is possible that the first teacher has emergency certification or has 4-9 certification as opposed to K-6. Either way, why was that one teacher sharing past grades as a student? How odd and rather unprofessional.
     
  4. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    We have 10 math teachers at my middle school and four are credentialed to teach all levels including Calculus, two can teach through Geometry and four have multiple subject credentials and can teach math/science cores only.
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    It sounds like one of the instructors doesn't know what they are talking about. In my state, having a MS math endorsement is all that is needed to teach Algebra I in 8th grade. Algebra I is a prerequisite for other courses, but doesn't actually confer high school credit when taken in 8th grade. You have to pass the class to go on to upper level class work, but the only credit on your HS transcript is what is earned in HS. If a teacher can pass the teacher exam, what difference does the grade matter from college? Many people bomb a course or two, but learn more over time that is adequate to teach at the elementary of MS level. In most states, the MS teachers have endorsements for the varied subjects, so that would be different than "every teacher must teach one algebra class." If you can't earn the MS certificate, you don't teach math. I agree that a teacher should probably not talk about their college grades with students, because there could be so much more to the story that doesn't get told.
     
  6. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    ^ same with us. Nearly all of our 10 math teachers are on multi-subject (K-8) credentials. They've taught HS credit bearing Algebra and Geometry courses and no one has batted an eye.
     
  7. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    We don't have K-8 credentials here. It is either 2-6 or 5-9.
    I think last spring I just asked her what math classes she took in college and she said she only got as far as Calculus and just barely passed with a D-. Her professor told her she never would need it anyway. So clearly the only way the current teacher could be correct is if the last school I was at broke the law. The students in Algebra 1 all get high school credit for the class.
     
  8. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    I don't see why it matters that she shared her grades with me though from over 15 years ago. I didn't ask, but I think it should be her right if she wants to disclose it.
     
  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    More a matter of acting professional, which is a judgement call. Some people have better judgement than others - just an observation.

    Do the teachers not have to take exams to earn endorsements or certification? Most states do have some kind of exam that a teacher would need to pass with a minimum score or above to be able to teach the subject.
     
  10. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    I've passed the praxis 2 which is grades 5-9 math. I generally do better with younger kids which is why I was hoping to teach 6th grade math, but content wise, I really did well teaching Algebra 1. My highest rated lesson was teaching polynomials and my CT uses the lesson I designed for it.
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    In my experience, teachers who teach an 8th grade class for high school credit have been certified in both middle and high school grade levels.
     
  12. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Is it possible that you don't know all the facts about this issue and they really aren't breaking the law?
     
  13. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Stay out of it.
     
  14. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    I have no clue what the rule is for Texas but I will tell you that my son took Algebra 1 in the 8th grade. His teacher is certified to teach high school, I know this because I just looked it up.
     
  15. 2ndTimeAround

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    why in the world does it matter if a teacher tells a student teacher what grade she got in college? How is that unprofessional?
     
  16. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    ^^^ I was wondering the same thing ...
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Maybe because some people might share that information with the world when that wasn't the intention of the person sharing? Without having a full story, it presents a skewed picture. If you think it is fine, feel free. That teacher has had limited contact with the student teacher, and it seems like TMI to me. That is my opinion.

    I have not run into the case that taking Algebra in 8th grade yields HS credit on a transcript. As I said before, if a student takes that course in MS, it counts as having it as a prerequisite for higher level math classes, but that just means you don't have to take Algebra I again in HS. There have been cases of students advanced in math that will take a higher level math course at the HS, first period, and then spend the rest of the day at the MS. That does yield HS credit. I would be interested in what state OP is talking about so that I could personally do some research for my own education, but that hasn't been shared with us.
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    If they're teaching those as departmentalized classes in California, then their original credentials may indeed be multiple subject, but each has to have at least a supplementary authorization/endorsement for foundational-level math on file.
     
  19. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    It does matter to me because it may play a factor in whether I can teach Algebra 1. I'm not talking about busting that school for breaking the law, but clearly that teacher is not high school certified for math. I don't care what they are doing, I'm only asking for my own projections.
     
  20. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    Here they do get high school credit for it in 8th grade.
     
  21. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Here too. If they pass Algebra I in 8th grade, they don't have to take it in HS. Same with the Algebra HSA (state exam) which is a HS graduation requirement.
     
  22. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Again, you are making assumptions that may or may not be true.
     
  23. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    Assumptions? She told me her original certification was K-8 15 years ago, that she has no masters degree, and the highest she got in Math was intro calculus. What else can I assume other than she isn't certified for high school math?

    I don't actually care about what that school is doing. I just assumed since my certification will be math grades 5-9, that Algebra 1 would be included.
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Try asking someone in your state who's involved in licensure what it is that YOU would need, then, SF_Giants66, since you've said that your concern is what YOU will be able to teach.
     
  25. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    I'll do that then. I just think people here are a bit testy for getting on me about something unrelated to my question.
     
  26. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    My best guess is that it's perfectly legit to teach algebra I in a middle school if you have middle school certification, but some schools prefer to have teachers with both middle and high school certifications teach those courses.
     
  27. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    I'll find out eventually, because I'm only planning on applying for 8th grade math if it includes Algebra 1 initially. That of course would depend on how many jobs are available in the area.
     
  28. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Let me ask one more time - what state are we talking about?
     
  29. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    South Carolina.
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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  31. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    According to the SC DOE, MS certification is 5-8, much like NJ. Also like NJ, you would be required to pass the MS Specialization Praxis II exam 5169. I believe that teachers who pass that exam are considered competent to teach Algebra or Pre-Algebra, depending on the courses and district. Other states note that to obtain HS credit for Algebra I taken in MS, there must be an EOC exam, a proficiency exam, and the student must pass both semesters of the course for it to count. Similarly, many states and districts state that a students may pass it and considered it a prerequisite that has been filled, so that students can qualify to take advanced courses in a sequence, but neither the grade or the credit goes on the HS transcript. The exception is a class taken at the HS by a MS student, usually in an honors or advanced standing setting. That HS credit will show up on the transcript since the course is taken at the HS with the corresponding rigor of that course.

    SC MS teachers can add the endorsement for MS, by having 15 hours of accepted math credits on their college transcript, taking the appropriate Praxis II, and being approved by the state. Content teachers K-12 need nothing else to teach that subject at middle school except the hours on MS adolescent development, accourding to what I can read. I can't imagine they need the MS Math Praxis II exam, but I didn't look into that deeply. The SC Elem. Ed. certification is 2-6, MS specialization is 5-8. Hope that helps.
     
  32. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    I have 18 credits in math. My degree is in middle school. So all I'll be eligible for is grades 5-8.
     
  33. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    True, at this point. But who is to say that you won't add graduate credits down the road that will eventually allow you to earn a K-12 certification in math? I freely admit that there is a lot of discrepancy about whether or not Algebra I completed in MS does or does not count in HS, but that doesn't mean you won't be able to teach it. It is traditionally taught in 8th grade to students who are somewhat more advanced. If it isn't considered for the HS transcript, it may still count as the prerequisite to other courses in HS, so worthwhile and important all the same. If you teach it with rigor, your students will certainly benefit from the experience. :hugs:
     
  34. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    At all the schools around here, it is on the high school transcript. When I was in 8th grade in Ohio, it wasn't.
     
  35. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Either way, if you are qualified to teach MS math, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to teach it.
     
  36. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    We give HS credit for 8th grade Alg. I here. It's taught by a teacher licensed 7-12 grades.
     
  37. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    That might be the difference. We don't have 7-12 certification here.
     
  38. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Our main certs are k-3, 4-9, and 7-12. K-3 can add 4-5 as an endorsement too. 4-9 teachers pick two areas, 7-12 is one area.
     
  39. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    We had to pick two areas as part of the program requirements. I chose math and science, but all my field lessons have been in math. I just can't find comfort in teaching science.
     
  40. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Our certifications are 4-8 either all subjects or specific and 9-12 specific subjects.
     

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