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The ‘poor results’ of teacher licensure pass rates

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The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has released a nationwide report on teacher licensure pass rates, but don’t expect to see how North Carolina is faring.

According to Nicole Gerber, director of strategic communications for NCTQ, North Carolina is one of seven states that didn’t submit data.

“We think having publicly accessible, accurate, and institution-level teacher licensure pass rate data is key to understanding challenges in the field of teacher preparation,” Gerber said.

Blair Rhoades, communications director at the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI), said that DPI sent NCTQ a dashboard where the organization could view North Carolina’s licensure pass rates. You can see that dashboard here.

“I suppose they couldn’t use the data if it wasn’t in their prescribed format,” Rhoades said in an email. “The data are publicly reported, we just can’t support transforming the data into the unique specifications of each requester’s requirements.”

According to a press release about the report, the data has been hard to obtain, even by the U.S. Congress. The press release speculates that “poor results” shown by the data may explain why.

The data of 38 states and the District of Columbia show that 29% of teacher preparation programs preparing elementary school teachers had first-time pass rates lower than 50% from 2015-2018. The report also says that 22% of those who take licensure tests and fail the first time don’t take it again. The percentage is higher (30%) for people of color taking the tests, the press release states.

“As we emerge from the pandemic and make critical infrastructure investments to improve and rebuild America, we cannot continue to ignore the importance of teacher preparation,” said George Miller, former Democratic U.S. Congressman who chaired the House Committee on Education and Labor, in a press release. “The relevance of the data obtained by NCTQ towards this goal is self-evident, at last providing an objective source of evidence speaking to the quality of programs.”

Go here for the full report.

Here is the state by state data.

Alex Granados

Alex Granados is senior reporter for EducationNC.