Fewer NC Teachers Passing Licensure Exam

Dec 4, 2019

The number of teachers in North Carolina who passed the state’s licensure exam continues to decline.

According to a new report presented to State Board of Education members Wednesday, the number of teachers passing the exam dropped from 96% in 2014 to slightly over 80% in 2018. That translates into one in five teachers who failed the exam last year. 

North Carolina's licensure exam pass rates.
Credit Public Schools of North Carolina

New teachers have three years to pass the licensure test, but are allowed to teach during that time frame. State education officials say more teachers are in classrooms who have not passed the exam than at any time in the past, but they say they do not have evidence to show that those teachers are not prepared to teach.

According to the News and Observer, during Wednesday's state education board meeting, some members expressed concern that the licensure exam passage decline may have an effect on student test scores. They also asked for more information on where those teachers are being placed to ensure that the majority of them do not end up in the lowest performing schools.