Tuesday, March 14, 2017
New York education officials are poised to scrap a test designed to measure the reading and writing skills of people trying to become teachers, in part because an outsized percentage of black and Hispanic candidates were failing it
The state Board of Regents is expected to adopt a task force’s recommendation of eliminating the literacy exam, known as the Academic Literacy Skills Test. Backers of the test say that eliminating it could put weak teachers in classrooms. But the literacy test raised alarms from the beginning because just 46% of Hispanic test takers and 41% of black test takers passed it on the first try, compared with 64% of white candidates. A federal judge ruled in 2015 that the test was not discriminatory, but faculty members at education schools say a test that screens out so many minorities is problematic.