Judge Rules New York Teacher Exam Did Not Discriminate Against Minorities
A wise decision:
A federal judge on Friday ruled that a new licensing exam for teachers given by New York State did not discriminate against minorities, saying that even though they tended to score poorly, the test evaluated skills necessary to do the job.
The ruling is a departure from earlier decisions by the same judge, Kimba M. Wood of Federal District Court in Manhattan, in which she threw out past certification exams. It also symbolizes a significant moment in a long-running tug of war between two policy goals in education: making tests for new teachers more rigorous, and increasing the diversity of the nation's teaching force.
…Ken Wagner, a former New York State deputy commissioner of education who is now Rhode Island's education commissioner, said in a court brief last month that the new tests were developed "with the need to address the achievement gap in mind and in recognition of the state's responsibility to ensure that each newly certified teacher entered the classroom with certain minimum knowledge, skills and abilities."