High standards for teachers - The Boston Globe.
Controversy flared recently when the Massachusetts Department of Education asked its Educational Personnel Advisory Council to review why many minority teacher candidates fail the state's licensure exams. On the Communication and Literacy Skills test administered during the 2005-06 school year, 77 percent of white teacher candidates passed the Communication section, compared with just 48 percent of Hispanic and 46 percent of African-American test-takers. On the Literacy section, 86 percent of white test takers passed, compared with 62 percent of African-American and 61 percent of Hispanic candidates.
The figures are even more troubling because, in terms of difficulty, teacher tests tend to be at the high school level. In a 1999 journal article published by The Education Trust, Ruth Mitchell and Patte Barth examined a number of teacher tests, and judged the difficulty to be at the "8th- to 10th- (sometimes 7th-) grade level."