Am I Qualified To Teach My Own?
by Gary Grammar in The Link, Volume 4 Issue 2
A number of years ago, July 2, 1998 in fact, a story out of Massachusetts was carried by the Associated Press describing the failure of 56% of the aspiring teachers of that state in the reading and writing portion of the teacher exam.
The then-governor referred to the failed test-takers as idiots and the state head of education suggested lowering the standards for prospective teachers. (Somewhat like intellectual limbo dancing: “How low can you go?”) The teachers’ unions considered all of this to be music to their ears, while much of the state legislature fumed along with the governor.
Most of the reason for the hubbub was that this exam was not particularly difficult. The “56 Percenters” missed spelling words a nine-year-old is expected to know, could not write in complete sentences and failed to correctly define a noun or verb. No matter how sympathetic one might want to be, this really is inexcusable! These college grads are supposed to become teachers, having completed the degree portion of the certification process; the remainder should be a cakewalk, intellectually.