Competency exam in New York to screen teachers “weeds out minorities”

This is absolutely appalling.

Basically people are stupid but because they’r black or hispanic it’s discrimination.

Sure.

The literacy test was among four assessments introduced in the 2013-2014 school year as part of an effort to raise the level of elementary and secondary school teaching in the state.

Leaders of the education reform movement have complained for years about the caliber of students entering education schools and the quality of the instruction they receive there. A December 2016 study by the National Council on Teacher Quality found that 44 percent of the teacher preparation programs it surveyed accepted students from the bottom half of their high school classes.

The reformers believe tests like New York’s Academic Literacy Skills Test can serve to weed out aspiring teachers who aren’t strong students.

But the literacy test raised alarms from the beginning because 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.

A federal judge ruled in 2015 that the test was not discriminatory, but 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.

This says it all.

Kate Walsh, the president of National Council on Teacher Quality, which pushes for higher standards for teachers, said that blacks and Latinos don’t score as well as whites on the literacy test because of factors like poverty and the legacy of racism.

“There’s not a test in the country that doesn’t have disproportionate performance on the part of blacks and Latinos,” Walsh said.

But she said getting rid of the literacy test would be “a crying shame.”

In implementing the exams, she said, New York had become “light years ahead of other states” in its teacher certification regimen.

“New York put together a suite of testing products that really got at the lack of rigor in teacher prep,” Walsh said.

Ian Rosenblum, the executive director of the New York office of the Education Trust, a nonprofit that advocates for high achievement for all students, called the literacy test “a 12th grade-level assessment” — something a high school senior should be able to pass.