Aspiring Teachers In Mass. Struggle In Math

Nearly three-quarters of Massachusetts aspiring elementary school teachers failed the new math section of the state teacher licensing exam.

According to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, only about 27 percent of the candidates who took the test in March passed the math sections, which included questions on geometry, statistics and probability.

Some state officials say they're worried the results show many students are not receiving an adequate education in math.

The executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, Tom Scott, says the results will help identify and correct deficiencies in teacher training.

"We have to take another look at the area of math and make sure we have done everything we can in teacher preparation programs and in the development of teachers within the school districts," Scott said.

Until this year, math questions were folded into different parts of the entire exam. That meant test-takers could potentially obtain a teaching license without answering many math questions correctly.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This program aired on May 19, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Frannie Carr Toth Editor, Cognoscenti
Frannie Carr Toth was the editor of WBUR's opinion page, Cognoscenti.



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