Look, I don’t care what color, race, or creed the teacher is. It is not at all unreasonable to expect teachers to be as literate as what we expect from our high school students. Indeed, it should be requisite.
At a time when the United States has plummeted in the global rankings of education standards, one of the country’s largest states is poised to scrap a test designed to measure the reading and writing skills of people trying to become teachers.
Citing the fact that an outsized percentage of black and Hispanic candidates were failing the test, members of the New York state Board of Regents plans to adopt a task force’s recommendation to eliminate the literacy exam, known as the Academic Literacy Skills Test, given to prospective teachers. ……
… The tests, however, came under intense scrutiny for their alleged racial bias, after just 46 percent of Hispanic test-takers and 41 percent of black test-takers passed it on the first try, compared with 64 percent of white candidates.
Plus, critics said, the test’s $131 price tag is too steep.
Despite a ruling by a federal judge in 2015 that the test was not discriminatory, faculty members at education schools say a test that screens out so many minorities is problematic.
“Having a white workforce really doesn’t match our student body anymore,” Soodak said.
Kate Walsh, the president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, said that the reason that blacks and Latinos don’t score as well as whites on the literacy test is because of various factors like poverty and the legacy of racism. Walsh said that is the symptom on other standardized tests as well.
“There’s not a test in the country that doesn’t have disproportionate performance on the part of blacks and Latinos,” Walsh said.
Oh, FFS!!!! The demographic makeup of the teachers workforce isn’t nearly as important as the actually literacy of the teacher workforce. It’s not relevant. What is relevant is the teacher’s ability to teach beyond what is expected of our students.
As to the reason why Blacks and Latinos aren’t scoring as well doesn’t have a damned thing to do with poverty and legacy of racism. WTF? Because someone’s grandma suffered under racism means the grandchild can’t score well on a test? I’d venture to bet that it has a lot more to do with affirmative action than anything else. Affirmative action requires lowering standards, thus, the people who got in (college for teaching) because of the lowered standards are probably the ones failing the tests. If they lowered the standards to let white people in, they would most likely be failing the tests.
Later on in the article it becomes critical of the test, itself. It may or may not be true that the test was poorly designed. And, also, not relevant to the larger question. If it was designed poorly, then, design it better.
Others in the article stated that the test was redundant. Clearly, the other tests were not stringent enough.
When the demographic makeup of the teaching workforce becomes more important than the individual teacher’s ability and knowledge base, then, we’re working against the student. It’s just that simple.