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The National Council on Teacher Quality is interested in your suggestions and feedback on A Fair Chance: Simple steps to strengthen and diversify the teacher workforce.

This report examines a particularly troubling issue: the fact that so many elementary teacher candidates struggle to pass elementary content licensing tests in English, mathematics, science, history, and geography—the essential content needed to teach elementary grades. Across the nation, only 46 percent of candidates pass the most common licensing test on their first attempt—a rate much lower than any other profession. We put forward a plausible explanation for these results by analyzing the courses required of teacher candidates—including general education requirements—finding that these requirements are rarely aligned to the future disciplinary instructional needs of their teacher candidates.

Internal support for addressing this issue is crucial. This problem of poor alignment is not unique to any particular institution, system, or state—clearly evident given the overall performance on the most common licensing test. This is a national problem.

Please consider sharing any thoughts with us that you may have for gaining the commitment of higher education leadership and faculty outside the colleges of education to effect the changes that are needed.

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