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Critics say tougher teacher exams also racially biased

LA School Report | June 18, 2015



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By Elizabeth A. Harris

Students are not the only ones struggling to pass new standardized tests being rolled out around the country. So are those who want to be teachers.

Concerned that education schools were turning out too many middling graduates, states have been introducing more difficult teacher licensing exams. Perhaps not surprisingly, passing rates have fallen. But minority candidates have been doing especially poorly, jeopardizing a long-held goal of diversifying the teaching force so it more closely resembles the makeup of the country’s student body.

“This is very serious,” said David M. Steiner, dean of the School of Education at Hunter College and a former New York State education commissioner. “It reflects, of course, the tragic performance gap we see in just about every academic or aptitude test.”

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