The children are our future. God help us.
Especially if you live in the liberal bastion of New York.
The New York state Board of Regents is expected to eliminate the Academic Literacy Skills Tests that is administered to measure the reading and writing skills of would-be teachers.
Why are they scrapping it?
Partly because an unusually high percentage of African-American and Hispanic candidates were failing it.
To The NY Board of Regents, it’s much more important to have teachers that are the same race as the students — even if they can’t read — than of a different race that can read.
Backers of the test say eliminating it could put weak teachers in classrooms. Critics of the examination said it is redundant and a poor predictor of who will succeed as a teacher.
“We want high standards, without a doubt. Not every given test is going to get us there,” said Leslie Soodak, a professor of education at Pace University who served on the task force that examined the state’s teacher certification tests.
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…
So, maybe the test is really hard, right?
Well, if you’ve finished high school, you should be able to pass.
Check it out:
…The Academic Literacy Skills Test consists of multiple-choice questions about a series of reading selections plus a written section.
A practice test available for $20 on the New York State Education Department website features John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address as one of the reading passages and asks questions like this one: “In which excerpt from the passage do Kennedy’s word choices most clearly establish a tone of resolve?”
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.
But Pace University student Tabitha Colon took the test last year and failed to get a passing score. She likened it to the English portion of the SAT and said it was “pretty difficult.” Plus, she said, she was thrown off by the fact that the test was given online, rather than on paper.
“The format on the computer was a bit confusing,” she said.
Colon, 21, was still able to pass thanks to a “safety net” provision that lets students demonstrate proficiency by submitting grades from a class. She is now working as a student teacher at a middle school in Ossining.
Read more: ABC News
Even though this is comparable to a ’12th Grade-level assessment’, there is still a ‘safety net’ provision to allow a failing score to still be counted as a pass.
To make sure that the demographics of the classroom is reflected by the teacher.
How does putting teachers in classrooms that cannot pass the literacy test help students?
But it does allow the New York Board of Regents to ‘virtue signal’ that they are not racists.
And isn’t that what really matters?
H/T: The Daily Wire