Almost 2,400 North Carolina elementary school teachers have failed the math portion of their licensing exams, which puts their careers in jeopardy, since the state hired Pearson publishing company to give the exam in 2013, according to a report presented to the state Board of Education Wednesday.
Failure rates have spiked as schools around the state struggle to find teachers for the youngest children. Education officials are now echoing what frustrated teachers have been saying: The problem may lie with the exams rather than the educators.
Teachers in Florida and Indiana have also seen mass failures when their states adopted Pearson testing, according to news reports from those states. Concern about the validity of the Pearson licensing exams is so pervasive that it was discussed at this year’s National Education Association conference, said North Carolina Association of Educators President Mark Jewell.
“I hope this doesn’t lead to a mass exodus of new teachers and exacerbate our shortages,” he said.