- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Due to concerns over the state’s dwindling supply of qualified teachers, the South Dakota Board of Education adopted a new rule on Monday that would make it easier for middle school math teachers to get certified.

The board voted 9-0 Monday to allow teachers who need a math credential to take an “intermediate test” if they don’t teach higher-level courses such as calculus, the Argus Leader (https://argusne.ws/1JNV3xT ) reported. Educators will be able to teach Algebra I and II and geometry without having to take the high school math certification test, in which nearly half of the teachers who take it fail, according to the newspaper.

The new math test is meant to provide a better-suited alternative for teachers who don’t specialize in math but need some kind of math credential, state education officials said. And it also will help science or business teachers who need to teach math skills in their classes, officials said.

“Some of our smaller districts sometimes need to certify teachers in multiple subjects,” said Abby Javurek-Humig, testing director for the state Department of Education. “This would provide a route for them to do that.”

School district officials have asked the state to make a change over concerns about being able to offer enough classes, she said.

“To hopefully allow us to get the teachers that we need into the classroom, knowing that they have the content knowledge that is needed,” Javurek-Humig said.

The change would have to be approved by the state Legislature before it can go into effect.

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Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com

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