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08-22-07, 07:48 AM #1
More than half of black and hispanic teaching applicants fail the Massachusetts state licensing test..attorney files a discrimination lawsuit
BOSTON --More than half of black and Hispanic applicants for teaching jobs in Massachusetts have failed a crucial state licensing test.
Since the start of the test nearly a decade ago, 52 percent of Hispanics and 54 percent of blacks failed the writing portion of the test compared to a 23 percent failure rate among white applicants.
Blacks and Hispanics also fall behind white applicants in other test subjects like English, history and math.
Education officials say the gap is making it harder to bring more diversity to the state's teaching ranks.
Chris Anderson, chairman of the state Board of Education, said he's willing to consider other ways of assessing teachers, as long as standards remain high.
"There's no reason to have any barriers to quality teachers if we don't need them," Anderson told The Boston Sunday Globe. "At the same time, we need to have accountability and assurance that there are basic abilities for any new teacher in Massachusetts."
The problem is so persistent that a special state task force of teachers, state education officials and hiring directors has been set up to find out why minorities don't do better on the tests.
Sally Diaz, a vice president at Emmanuel College in Boston and a member of the panel, said one test shouldn't make or break a career.
"One of the fallouts which is particularly upsetting in our experience across the colleges is fewer and fewer students of color are even going into teaching because word has gotten out that these tests are very difficult for them," she said.
Adding to the worries are stricter federal rules focused on improving teacher quality.
Under the 2001 federal law, states must prove their teachers have met a competency bar set by the state. Massachusetts school districts risk losing federal funding if they aren't making progress toward licensing all their teachers.
Some deans of education schools are raising questions about whether the lower results among minority applicants shows the tests are culturally biased and whether the quality of education that minority applicants receive is good enough.
Some minority applicants say the tests includes questions that white applicants and those with liberal arts backgrounds can more readily identify with, such as questions about ancient literature or investing in the stock market.
A Cambridge lawyer said he's planning to file a class action lawsuit against the state Department of Education and the testing company on behalf of three minority teachers who failed the test multiple times.
08-22-07, 09:09 AM #2
Ok so lets lower the standards so these people who dont have the intelligence to become teachers now can pass the test. Then in 10 years or so when the quality of education has declined because of those teachers being in the classroom, the State can try to figure out how to handle the lower level of education. Yup makes perfect sense to me. Affirmitive action at it's best!!!! Wonder what they will do when they change the test and the "white" applicants then score even higher on it making them look even more qualified?"An Unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper
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08-22-07, 09:24 AM #3
I hear things like this all the time. This is what I don't hear. What exactly is the difference in intelligence between any of the listed races? Is one race smarter than the other? If so to what extent? That said, is this article actually suggesting we lower the standard? Or how about this. Let's have different standards for any group of people. Let's make it extremely difficult for one group and extremely easy for another. No wait. Isn't that discrimination? Doesn't this also contridict the purpose of higher education?
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08-22-07, 12:30 PM #4
The old principal at my daughter's school, during the first assembly of the year, proved didn't have a basic grasp of spoken English. Accent is one thing, mauling words is another. Welcome to the bottom of the nation in educational rankings.\\` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
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08-22-07, 01:06 PM #5
So following that school of thought, the test is also biased against anyone without a liberal arts background and not just minorities, right? Unless of course, liberal arts backgrounds are exclusive to whites.
Frankly, I have a difficult time understanding the concept of a culturally biased standardized test. I think it's ridiculous and used as an excuse by those who were unable to obtain a passing (or otherwise desirable) score. I wish they'd talk to some of the minorities who DID pass the exam, and to some of the whites that did not.
I wonder if the test questions were multiple choice or a combination of multiple choice and essay. Not that it matters - prospective teachers, IMO, should be able to get passing scores on a wide variety of subjects regardless of whether they can "identify" with them or not.
08-22-07, 06:33 PM #6
The Democrats answer to everything. Instead of making everyone meet a high standard lets lower the bar so EVERYONE can make it. This lawyer must've been the puny kid in middle school that was picked last if he was ever picked for the kick ball team............................................
08-22-07, 08:20 PM #7
If I cannot pass the test, then there is something wrong with the test and it must be changed.
Hmm... name that fallacy!!
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08-22-07, 08:51 PM #8
Let them go teach in Arazona, where they suspended a kit for drawing a picture of a gun. They need more brain surgions out there.
08-22-07, 10:41 PM #9
Quick, where's Sharpton???
If you can't fight fair, fight race.
08-22-07, 11:21 PM #10
If they have done this with the teachers, heaven help us if and when they do it to Law Enforcement. If they do, this country is going to be in a great big world of hurt. I'm sure there are many who have failed various tests who would like to be in their chosen field. The tests are there for a reason, folks. Its to wean out those that can't handle it or have what it takes to be in these fields. Same goes for the medical profession. Do we want someone teaching, policing, operating, etc on us who can't even speak simple English much less have basic comprehension skills? I think not. If they want to lower the standards just look at the various other countries in this world. A lot have very corrupt governments. People have paid for what we have in this country, sometimes with their very lives so that we may have what we have. And some just want to throw all of this away, just so they can be in control. Affirmative Action never solved anything, it just made for more chaos. I am so sick and tired of people trying to take the easy way out. They need to work hard for everything like the rest of us did and are doing. I work two jobs so that I can have what I have and that isn't much compared to some but I am comfortable and have a roof over my head. The damned liberals want to lower the standards so that they can be in power. Michael Savage said it best. "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"
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In memory of Sgt. Howard K. Stevenson 1965 - 2005. Ceres Police Dept.
In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres Police Dept.
08-23-07, 06:32 PM #11
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