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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Math licensing test is too hard, say teachers

Does a third-grade teacher need to know high school math? asks Ann Doss Helms in the Charlotte Observer.

“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,” Helms writes. In 2016-17, only 54.5 percent of elementary teachers passed the math exam.

Image result for elementary school math teacher cartoon

Some say the tests are too hard because they cover math taught in middle and high school.

Failure rates soared in Florida and Indiana, when those states adopted the Pearson test.

North Carolina will “review the Pearson exams to see if the tests are actually measuring skills needed to teach elementary students effectively,” reports Helms. A committee will look at whether passing the exam predicts teaching effectiveness.

Deep in the story, an advisor to the state school board says that elementary teachers need more than elementary math skills to teach students to understand math concepts.

Is it possible to teach elementary math well without understanding higher math? How high?

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