Education

State apologizes for mistakenly claiming six NC colleges failed to pass enough education students

Posted September 11
Updated September 12

— Officials with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction apologized Monday for mistakenly reporting that six colleges failed to pass enough students in their teacher education programs last school year.

The six colleges – East Carolina University, Gardner-Webb University, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro and Wingate University – were mistakenly included on a list of 19 colleges with low pass rates. The list was presented to the State Board of Education last Wednesday and reported by WRAL News.

After WRAL's report, three colleges reached out to say that they passed at least 70 percent of their students and should not have been included on the list. Education programs must maintain a 70 percent passage rate for graduating students taking the Praxis II exams, which are tied to their teaching license.

On Monday, the state education department sent individual letters to the six colleges.

"After a review of the data ... NCDPI has determined that your institution should not have been identified as failing to meet the standard in the 2015-16 reporting year. We deeply regret the misstatement and wish to convey our sincere apology," according to a copy of one of the letters DPI provided to WRAL News.

The following 13 colleges did have pass rates below 70 percent as of April 6 last school year, according to DPI. Some of the schools may have improved their pass rates since then.

Two-year consecutive low pass rate (action required)

  • Elizabeth City State University
  • Fayetteville State University
  • Saint Andrews University
  • Winston-Salem State University

First-year pass rate below 70 percent (no action required)

  • Barton College
  • Belmont Abbey College
  • Campbell University
  • Lees-McRae College
  • Lenoir Rhyne University
  • Mars Hill University
  • North Carolina Central University
  • Pfeiffer University
  • Salem College

DPI officials blamed the high number of failing schools on a new test implemented in 2014. This is the first year to consider that data.

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