Report: More Tennesseans of color walk away from teaching profession if they fail first licensure test

By: | July 21, 2021

About a fourth of Tennessee elementary school teacher candidates who fail their licensure test on their first attempt don’t try again, with an even higher “walkaway rate” for aspiring teachers of color, says national data released Wednesday.

For Tennesseans of color who failed their first exam, about a third didn’t retest for licensure, according to a report by the National Council on Teacher Quality, or NCTQ.

First-time passage rates also varied significantly among the state’s nearly 40 teacher training programs — from 7% at LeMoyne-Owen College to 100% at Vanderbilt University.

The data, which NCTQ officials say is being released for the first time, offers important insights for Tennessee in its push to replenish, strengthen, and diversify its workforce of 61,000-plus public school teachers — and to have an effective teacher in every classroom.

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