By Natalie Wexler, Forbes
If you want to be a teacher, it’s not enough to graduate from a teacher-training program. You also have to pass standardized exams to get your license. And newly released data reveal that over half of aspiring elementary teachers initially fail one of the most common tests.
Fifty-four percent of those who take the Praxis test on elementary-level content fail on their first try. Twenty-five percent never manage to pass. (In nursing, by contrast, 85% of test-takers pass their licensing test on the first try.) A report from the National Council on Teacher Quality lays much of the blame at the door of teacher-training programs. The test assesses knowledge in four areas elementary teachers are expected to cover: English, math, social studies and science. But teacher-training programs don’t ensure their graduates have a basic grounding in that content.
“It’s really frustrating,” said one teacher who initially failed the math portion. “I was Dean’s List, Ed Honors Society. You think you’re prepared, and then you keep failing. It’s like, what did I do wrong?”