New York Wants To Cut Out Literacy Test For Teachers

What’s more important? That your kids get a good education or that certain groups not feel left out, simply because they don’t read or write so well?

You awful, awful bigots!


I forgot to add that the “certain groups” would be teachers.

Kinda puts a new spin on things, doesn’t it?

From the Associated Press:

New York education officials are poised to scrap a test designed to measure the reading and writing skills of people trying to become teachers, in part because an outsized percentage of black and Hispanic candidates were failing it.

The state Board of Regents on Monday is expected Monday to adopt a task force’s recommendation of eliminating the literacy exam, known as the Academic Literacy Skills Test.

Just sort of roll that one around in your brainpan for a bit.

New York wants to get rid of literacy tests for – teachers.

The particular test they’re having a problem with was introduced in 2014. Since then, they’ve found that only 46 percent of Hispanics taking the test and only 41 percent of African Americans taking the test could pass it on the first try.

On the other hand, 64 percent of white test takers passed on the first try.

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.


Having diversity in the teaching workforce is more important than having competence?

That’s what it sounds like, but those who oppose the testing say that just the ability to pass a test isn’t an accurate indicator of how well someone will do in the classroom.

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.


The test itself is a series of multiple choice questions, based on some reading selections (reading comprehension sections, I presume), and a written portion.

Several education professors told The Associated Press the test doesn’t measure anything that isn’t covered in other exams students must take, including subject matter certification tests, the SAT, the GRE and tests that are part of their coursework. Also, they said the test’s $131 price tag is too steep.

Michael Middleton, dean of the Hunter College School of Education in Manhattan, said that of the battery of assessments, “It’s the one that looks like it’s the least related to the actual work that teachers do day to day.”


So that may be the problem.

Charles Sahm, the director of education policy at the Manhattan Institute took the practice test and only got 21 out of 40 right.

According to Sahm, the practice version was poorly designed and the multiple choice portion had what could have easily been several right answers.

I get that.

It’s kind of like when I went through Nursing school and our instructors told us that there was a right answer, and then there was a “better” answer.

I never did figure out if they wanted the “right” answer, or the “better” answer, or how a right answer could be counted wrong, for that matter.

And yes, going through Nursing school forced me to become a Psychology major. I found that I’m much better at easing troubled minds and helping people in distress find necessary services than I am at drawing blood and treating bed sores.





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