Judge Rules Second Version of New York Teachers’ Exam Is Also Racially BiasedDid Judge Wood express any concern over the test that helped her get into Harvard Law School?
By Elizabeth A. Harris, June 5, 2015
A federal judge on Friday found that an exam for New York teaching candidates was racially discriminatory because it did not measure skills necessary to do the job, the latest step in a court battle over teacher qualifications that has spanned nearly 20 years.
The exam, the second incarnation of the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test, called the LAST-2, was administered from 2004 through 2012 and was designed to test an applicant’s knowledge of liberal arts and science.
But the test was found to fail minority teaching candidates at a higher rate than white candidates. According to Friday’s decision, written by Judge Kimba M. Wood [Harvard Law School '69] of Federal District Court in Manhattan, the pass rate for African-American and Latino candidates was between 54 percent and 75 percent of the pass rate for white candidates. Once it was established that minority applicants were failing at a disproportionately high rate, the burden shifted to education officials to prove that the skills being tested were necessary to do the job; otherwise, the test would be ruled discriminatory.
In creating the test, the company, National Evaluation Systems, sent surveys to educators around New York State to determine if the test’s “content objectives” were relevant and important to teaching. The samples for both surveys were small, however, Judge Wood said. …
With this ruling, the LAST-2 meets the same fate of the LAST-1, an earlier version of the test, given from 1993 to 2004, that was also found to be discriminatory. …Wow, there seems to be a pattern here … of RACISM! The educational establishment of New York is obviously dominated by racist wreckers who decade after decade intentionally sabotage the simple task of creating valid tests on which whites, blacks, and Hispanics are equal. Now that I mention it, the racist wreckers are running the other 49 states too.
Neither version of the exams is still in use in New York. Instead the state administers a new test called the Academic Literacy Skills Test, or the ALST, along with a slate of other assessments. The fate of the ALST, however, was recently called into question as well. This spring, Judge Wood began questioning whether that test, too, was racially discriminatory. A hearing is scheduled on the issue for later this month.
The examination of the ALST comes at a time when many states are introducing more rigorous certification tests, an attempt to raise the bar of entry to the teaching profession and, supporters say, to ensure that all teachers are qualified and able to do their jobs well.Nice white lady teachers are the race enemy and must be purged.
But the tests’ impact on minorities has also been a concern because of a dearth of minority teachers.
Last month the state Board of Regents agreed to postpone for a year the requirement that candidates pass the ALST.
According to the city’s Department of Education, while 25 percent of the city’s public school students are black and 41 percent are Hispanic, 60 percent of its teachers are white. Fifteen percent of the teachers are Hispanic and 18 percent are black.