A New York literacy test designed to weed out unqualified teachers, called the Academic Literacy Skills Test, is to be done away with by the New York State Board of Regents as suggested by a task force according to The Associated Press.
The reason for eliminating the test is due to the fact that whites predominantly pass the exam at 64 percent, while other minorities such as blacks and latinos, pass the test with a 46 percent and 41 percent success rate respectively.
Pace University Professor Leslie Soodak said that “We want high standards, without a doubt. Not every given test is going to get us there.”
“Having a white workforce really doesn’t match our student body anymore,” Soodak added.
According to AP, the test consists of questions that have multiple choice answers that should be easily passed by a 12th grade student.
The Academic Literacy Skills Test consists of multiple-choice questions about a series of reading selections plus a written section.
A practice test available for $20 on the New York State Education Department website features John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address as one of the reading passages and asks questions like this one: “In which excerpt from the passage do Kennedy’s word choices most clearly establish a tone of resolve?”
Opponents to ridding New York of the test believe that this will lead to teachers with a weak ability to teach, however, Kate Walsh, the president of National Council on Teacher Quality said the reason minorities are scoring lower on the test is due to poverty and racism.