New York dumps literacy tests for teachers

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The coming dark age: In the name of political correctness and ethnic diversity, New York has decided to eliminate literacy tests for its teachers.

It seems that about one third fewer black and hispanic applicants passed the test.

“We want high standards, without a doubt. Not every given test is going to get us there,” Pace University professor Leslie Soodak told the AP. Soodak was a member of the task force that advocated abandoning literacy tests for teachers.

“Having a white workforce really doesn’t match our student body anymore,” Soodak added. [emphasis mine]

Having an uneducated workforce that can’t read, that’s okay however.



  • wodun

    It is incredibly insulting to think that blacks and hispanics can’t pass the same literacy tests that other teachers pass. And why would it be a problem that a teacher isn’t the same race as some of the students? When these kids get out in the real world, they are going to have to interact with people from all backgrounds.

    This illiberal orthodoxy just comes off as incredibly racist and regressive.

  • hondo

    At this point, their literacy (and skills) requirements were already lowered for some time.

  • Diane Wilson

    As Instapundit calls it, the soft bigotry of low expectations.

  • Ted

    As Instapundit calls it, the soft bigotry of low expectations.

    Well said. And there are those who who mock home schooling families because mom or dad don’t have “college’ teaching degrees. With this push towards stupid in NYS home schooling families may be mocking public education.

  • LocalFluff

    “eliminate literacy tests for its teachers” The TEACHERS!!??
    How could they teach if they are illiterate?

    It seems as if DJT has a long long list to go through during his presidency. Carefully instructing his as of yet few cabinet members what to undo and what not to do. Just sit down. Everyone gotta sit down. Sit. Sit Rex, sit Mad Dog, röven på golvet … do you wanna go take the oil? … oh, I already previsioned that before here.

    Schools school. But with teachers who are illiterate, there will be more fists than books.

  • D. Williams

    College departments of education are mostly diploma mills.

  • Max

    I don’t get it …. Teachers that are illiterate?
    a wise man once said, if the blind lead the blind, they both will fall in a ditch!
    A very regressive plan indeed. Even the homeless could apply for this position…

    Here is a test that no amount of studying can help you with.

    Here’s the rule as it currently is written.

    What the government gives you, they can just as easily take it away…
    Not only can employers charge more for Health care when you do not not take the DNA test, if the DNA test shows a problem, they can just not hire you. Pre-existing conditions just took on a whole new meaning. You can be treated like a health risk when you show no symptoms. They can use family history as well as siblings DNA test against you. Gatica has arrived.

  • Cotour

    The systemic culture of dependency where eventually low standards are no standards has resulted in this sad reality. The teachers whom were once students are now teachers and they are unable to pass basic literacy tests.

    Who would expect anything else from these political agenda and governmental perversions? Who would even contemplate the abandoning of standards to such a counter intuitive level? New York, the epicenter of such politically correct thinking. The self confessed champions of the “poor” are now, and forever, have become their destroyers. Politics, where “good” intentions turns the neediest into mere political tools of manipulation and monetary appropriation.

    WE NEED MORE MONEY FROM THE RICH FOR REMEDIAL EDUCATION FOR THE POOR WHO ARE BEING OPPRESSED! MORE MONEY WILL FIX THIS, they will again, and again, and again demand! They again will be politically committed to working the wrong end of the problem, they are so devoted to their self interested political agenda that they will not, even can not, allow themselves to see what what must be seen.

    Thank you political and politically correct leadership you have not disappointed, you have achieved exactly what it was that you were projected to achieve. But who will tell the NO? Bernie Sanders? Hillary? Charles Schumer?Bill Ayers? Elizabeth Warren? B.O.?

    Is the only one to tell the King he has no clothes, Trump?

    (As a related aside, I talk to NYC grade school and high school teachers all the time specifically to get first hand comments on this subject. They to a man and woman despise the leadership and have real compassion for the kids, who in the end are the recipients of all of this garbage and must somehow figure things out in life starting at a deficit when they should be standing at the top of the heap. NY spends about $20K per student per year, about twice the average of the rest of the country. All NYC teachers are in a waiting game, waiting for the day that they can put their papers in and retire. In the end that is what its all about after 20 years of being ground up.)

  • Garry

    Cotour wrote,

    “I talk to NYC grade school and high school teachers all the time specifically to get first hand comments on this subject. They to a man and woman despise the leadership and have real compassion for the kids, who in the end are the recipients of all of this garbage and must somehow figure things out in life starting at a deficit when they should be standing at the top of the heap”

    I have some experience teaching select students from city school systems, supposedly the elite students, and what you write makes a lot of sense to me.

    School is much more than learning information and academic skills; it also involves socialization, an important part of which is acceptance of authority. Many of the kids, being from “the hood,” (or wanting others to think they’re from the hood; many of them are from upper middle class suburbs) go to great pains to show everybody that they think learning math is for losers, and they try to get away with all they can in class. So my challenge is to change the classroom culture, and I’ve had mixed levels of success.

    I can’t imagine how much harder it would be without the solid backing of administration. I had a real breakthrough when I laid the hammer down on 2 students in my most difficult class, and administration not only backed me up but expelled one of the students involved, based on past behavior (my incident was the last straw).

    After that, many students continued with the same attitude, but at least they weren’t disruptive, allowing others to pay attention. On the down side, what little feedback I had from students disappeared, which made it difficult to judge whether students were lost in material and pacing that was too difficult, bored with material and pacing that was too easy, or something in between.

    I’m also lucky that I don’t have to deal with parents who are outraged every time their precious children are reprimanded or get a bad grade.

    If I had to sum up the problem of education into one expression, it would be “lack of trust.” Teachers don’t trust the administration or parents. Parents and students don’t trust the teachers or administration. School becomes something to be endured rather than an opportunity to get an education. I can see where it’s very difficult to get out of that pattern.

    Vouchers are a good idea, but I don’t know how much of an effect they’re going to have. You have people like me who are not certified teachers but are competent and motivated (I’m not a full-time teacher because I want no part of the unions and all the other mess), but how many of us are there, and how many are willing to work for the low pay that comes from charter schools, etc.?

    It would be relatively easy to make private and charter schools a success in a small local area, but when you scale it up to cover substandard school systems nationwide, the numbers don’t work; there just aren’t enough competent, motivated teachers will to work for the low pay. The only hope is to set up the system so that public school teachers are motivated to improve their game, but I don’t see how that would work.

    I applied to a charter school last year, and could have made the low salary work in combination with my existing work, but after seeing the school environment during my interview I didn’t want the job.

    I was especially thankful I didn’t take the job a few days after the election, when they sent me a mass e-mail outlining the devastation that came and would come from the Trump election and how to help the snowflakes (including students, parents, teachers, and administrators) survive the trauma.

    This was a charter school’s reaction to the election of the biggest champion of charter schools ever elected president! Much of the e-mail focused on race, which was a complete turnoff for me.

    By the way, my classes are 95% plus racial minorities, and by and large, I don’t think my being white makes any difference. I treat all of them based on their behavior, and once they see that I have their interests at heart and can help them, they trust me and are glad I’m there, or at least they don’t care one way or the other. Maybe race is a barrier to gaining that trust, but I was fortunate enough to follow a teacher who was incompetent (and happened to be a minority), which made it easy to gain their trust.

  • pzatchok

    How in the heck could you get a teaching degree without reading?
    Let alone later fail a reading test to get a job.

  • pzatchok

    It seems that the soft bigotry of low expectations is in place all the way down to kindergarten.

    Nice liberal teachers who pass children along through the system just so their self esteem doesn’t get damaged just leads to teachers who cannot read.

    The truly sad part of this whole test was that even the best group couldn’t break 70%.

  • Garry

    As is often the case, I wish the article gave more information. Specifically, “literacy” has come to mean “having the knowledge to do a particular job,” not limited to reading and writing, as in “math literacy.”

    Testing is a whole empire within education, and contains its own distortions. I’d be interested to know what the test is designed to measure, and how it does so. I don’t eliminate the possibility that the test is ineffective at measuring what it purports to measure.

    That said, the more disturbing comment is

    “Having a white workforce really doesn’t match our student body anymore,” Soodak added.

  • Geno

    The news broadcast I heard stated it was an English Literacy test. So far unspoken was the “White” passing rate was only 64%. So only 2/3 of “whites” pass it. As someone stated earlier, New York spends $20K per year on student education, and produces a product that has a 1/3 failure rate at best? This from “College” grads ??? It is the dumbing down of America and it’s pretty well advanced.

  • Cotour


    This is the harvest of the Liberal culture of dependency. The children and their edumactation is at least third or forth down the list. First their is the Federal politics $$$, then the local city politics $$$, then its the politics within the school $$$, then within the union $$$, then the unhappy parents, then maybe the kids come into view.

    Like everything else its about money, so the only answer, whether it scales or not, can only be actual real competition. Why is there no competition? Because the the parents can not take THEIR funds to the school of THEIR choice. And the crap schools that are left need extreme intervention of the cultural kind first.

    Low expectation is no expectation. As you know if you can reach a child inside of his or her cultural immersion cocoon where they are trying to go to school and learn something, are trying to figure out who and what they are balanced against the constant media and technological bombardment, there is hope. I can not imagine the kind of trouble I would be getting into with the level of high technology and the information that all of today’s children have at their finger tips. I would probably just be getting out of jail now.

    This entire education system and cultural perversion must be stripped, revealed and fixed. Who is it that seems the only one who has the stones to accomplish this? The name begins with a T, all others are unable to operate at the required level of confrontation.

  • ken anthony

    My plan for world domination.

    1) Build stasis capsule.
    2) Travel several hundred years into the future.
    3) Not worry about Woody Allen.
    4) Declare myself bossprez of idiocracy.

  • Cotour

    The other aspect to this situation, the Liberal / Leftist nature of the system and its long time leadership reaps reward after reward, our future is secured.

  • Mitch S.

    “the soft bigotry of low expectations”
    What I call the velvet racism of the Left.
    It’s really a version of the old “White man’s burden”, Libs believe racial minorities are hopelessly stupid and it’s unfair to expect them to perform at the same level as whites or asians.
    But we need to create an illusion of equality to keep things calm.
    That’s why they see affirmative action as a permanent requirement (how else would “they” get into college).
    The Dem party is the traditional home of racism and still is.

    Gawd, DiBlasio is such a disaster.
    In the past NYC voters have rid the city of awful mayors before they led the city off the cliff (eg David Dinkins).
    Hopefully they’ll do it again.

    PS, Ken, I doubt you’d have to wait several hundred years for the Libs to turn the place into an “idiocracy”

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