For would-be high school math teachers in Connecticut, less could mean more. The score needed to pass math certification is being lowered.

The state Board of Education Wednesday approved a plan to make it easier for high school math teachers by lowering the minimum, passing score on the state’s teacher competency test in mathematics.

The board voted to lower by a few points the passing score on the exam, which had produced a failure rate of about 30 percent among prospective teachers, higher than in any other subject area.

With schools across the state facing a shortage of math teachers, educators say Connecticut’s cutoff score, one of the highest in the nation, has been a barrier to some candidates, including members of minority groups.

The four-point adjustment, within the margin of error on the test, is expected to result in more teachers passing without lowering the standards required for the job, said state Department of Education spokesman Tom Murphy.

Connecticut schools are short at least 100 math teachers 87 at the high school and 13 at the middle school level, according to state figures, and the subject has been designated a shortage area by the U.S. Department of Education.

–Associated Press