current literacy test for incoming teachers. Evidently this test results in fewer teachers of color than white teachers passing. How good is the test? I have no idea. Now I personally think literacy is key for teachers, even though it appears unimportant in a President of the United States.To me, for example, when Donald J. Trumpp, uses the word tapp, it makes me think he's full of crapp.
But let's talk teachers. I certainly hope that we can model the use of English for our students. Let's assume, for the moment, that this test is a fair measure of literacy. Now I can't tell you exactly why we should assume that, since NY State created the NYSESLAT exam to test language acquisition, and in fact it measures no such thing. Also, the state has a history of moving cut scores to get the results it wishes. Wanna fail everyone and make teachers look bad? Raise the cut scores. Wanna pass everyone and make Bloomberg look like a genius? Lower the cut scores.
The problem is not necessarily this test. It's not impossible that this test is a precise measure that's absolutely accurate. Of course I have no reason to assume any such thing, but that doesn't make it impossible. The problem, in fact, is that this standard applies only to public school teachers. It does not apply to charter school teachers, who may be appointed despite not having teacher certification. And yes, that applies right here in good old New York State.
So my question is why doesn't the NY Post go after those substandard charter school teachers? If it's outrageous that public school teachers fail to meet this standard, isn't it equally outrageous that charters can hire people who not only don't meet it, but may fail in other areas as well?
I know people who've been banned from public schools, either temporarily or permanently. Where did these people find work? In charters, of course. Now I'm not saying these people are bad teachers. They were targeted by the lunatics at DOE, sometimes for bad reasons and other times for none I could determine. Sometimes I read about these teachers and sometimes I know firsthand that their charges are trumped-up nonsense. But you know what I never read? I never read that, oh my gosh, this charter school hired this awful teacher that isn't good enough to work in a public school.
Let's talk student teachers. I've had many, and most were great. There was one glaring exception, an ESL teacher who made fundamental usage errors on my board, errors some of my students noticed. She offered lessons I knew she couldn't have written, since she seemed not to understand them, and when I looked I was able to find them lifted in their entirely from the internet. Oddly, her college professor seemed not to notice. My student teacher also had a charming habit of trash-talking me for criticizing things like her differentiation of "might" and "may" in cases where there was none. My colleagues, none of whom liked her all that much, reported this back to me daily.
When this teacher asked me for a recommendation, I declined. I told her, truthfully, that I never wrote recommendations for student teachers. (Actually that was simply because no one had asked me.) She went and complained to my supervisor about that. I told my supervisor it was because she was incompetent, and the supervisor was happy to leave it at that. Actually there was nothing she could have done, since I'm not required to recommend anyone, even people l like.
Where did this student teacher end up after failing to score a gig at my school or any other public school? You guessed it. Last I heard she was at a charter school, saving the world from awful public school teachers like me and you.
So where's the standard? Well, to me it looks like Public School Bad, Charter School Good. When there's profit to be made from our kids, it's positive. When Eva Moskowitz can bring home a bundle of cash, somewhere around 500K a year last I checked, all is good with the editorial staff of the New York Post. I don't know whether Murdoch is losing money on this enterprise, but the important thing is to get the word out.
Whatever it is, it's our fault. I've grown fairly accustomed to such messages over the year. We've been found guilty of the awful crime of educating New York City's children, no matter where they come from, what their handicaps, or what their home lives are. And as long as the charters continue to select the students they want, dump those they don't, and hold a blatantly lower standard for the teachers they run through like chewing gum, we'll always be guitly.