Who in his right mind would seek treatment or advice from doctors or lawyers who failed to pass minimally qualifying tests in their fields? Without a doubt, nobody. Certification is required for plumbers, electricians and even barbers. But NYCs public schools may soon be filled with sub-standard teachers who barely have the skills of some of their brighter students. The reason: Political Correctness! The New York State Board of Regents will soon scrap the current ineffectual exam given to prospective teachers because less than half of Hispanics and African American candidates pass. That's the real dilemma.
The problem evidently that our educational mavens are trying to solve is not how to improve the learning skills, achievements and lives of our already vulnerable, poorly performing, school kids but how to make-believe that minority candidates are as well prepared to teach as whites.
Leslie Soodak, a professor of education at Pace University who served on the task force recommending dropping all qualifications to teach, such as being able to read and write, told the sad truth about how our leaders view our schools: "Having a white workforce really doesn't match our student body anymore." But Ian Rosenblum, the executive director of the New York office of the Education Trust claims the current literacy test applied to prospective teachers is only comparable to a 12th grade assessment level. How much lower can we go before we have undocumented immigrants teaching American history to our unfortunate kids?
Teacher union leader Randi Weingarten is opposed to testing the actual knowledge of teachers in the fields they are so well paid to teach. A few years back, Pennsylvania tested its teachers and even after disclosing that a great percentage of their educators did poorly, refused to divulge the results for fear of parent rebellion. Union objections forced that test to be scrapped. Bad news for the unfortunate students who attend that state's schools.
All the more reason we support the efforts of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who supports private, charter and religious schools and wants parents to have the right to choose what schools are best for their kids.