(WDHN) — For what has been a barrier for teachers could soon become a blessing. The Alabama Department of Education could lower the passing score for the PRAXIS exam.

“I’m not opposed to that to get more teachers into the classroom because sometimes you can have someone who is highly intelligent but sometimes they may not be a good teacher because they can’t connect with students,” said Becky Birdsong, the Geneva County Schools superintendent.

Right now, the passing test score in Alabama is from 150 to160 points depending on the subject.

According to the state department of education, for teachers who have taken the test from September 2019 to August 2021, over 1,000 teachers came within one standard measure shy of the passing score.

“We do have some that we hired that missed it by a few points that are studying up and going to take it again, but we find them effective in the classroom,” Birdsong added. “It’s just with those specific content questions, they are not up the speed like they should be, so that’s something we encourage them to do take the praxis in other areas.”

Birdsong said they are recruiting anyone with a bachelor’s degree — and the school system can work with you on the certification process.

A process that has become easier since the state has approved a teacher to have more than one emergency certificate a year.

If the state lowers the passing score, a teacher would have to show a higher GPA or completion of 100 hours of high-quality professional learning.

Birdsong doesn’t believe lowering the passing score will have an impact on the quality of the teacher.

“Anybody who wants to learn and love kids can be a good teacher, gotta have patience but I don’t think one test defines a person from being a good teacher,” She said.

The state department of education will meet to adopt that change on July 12th.