Should a Teacher Be Able to Read?

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Well, heck, no, say the New York State Board of Regents, as they prepare to do away with a literacy test which a prospective public school teacher has to pass before he can be certified ( ). [Oh, no! I used the impersonal “he”!]

Nope–after they vote on it next week, you won’t have to be able to read if you want to teach school in New York. They’re even thinking of going back and certifying some who’ve failed the rest recently.

Why are they doing this? Hint: It cannot possibly be to provide a better education for the children. I mean, does it seem that strange an idea, to have the class taught by someone who actually knows more than the students?

You guessed it! It’s because too many members of Our Cherished Minorities are failing the test. Naturally, instead of better equipping the testees to take the test, they’ll get rid of the test. Because, really, it doesn’t matter if the person teaching you is a total ignoramus, as long as he or she is a Minority. It doesn’t matter if you don’t learn anything the whole time you’re in class, as long as your school’s teaching staff is Diverse.

And it certainly doesn’t matter how much money they wring out in taxes from you, to pay for what they laughingly call an “education” but which is rapidly evolving into a euphemism for paying off teacher pensions.

Do I get extra credit for using the word “evolving”?

8 comments on “Should a Teacher Be Able to Read?

  1. It is pathetic. I notice in almost every article I read on line, and in almost all of the books I read, there is mis-spelling and poor sentence structure. I don’t know if all of these writers are “collidge” educated or not, but it is becoming a little annoying. I find myself in this same category fairly often, and I know that in my case, a lot of the typos are caused by knotty, twisted arthritic fingers that do not do what I say. Unless I proof read everything I write, I am likely to make errors. I don’t think all of these other writers are in the same boat. I recall a few years ago, two of my grandsons were in upper grades, and they would write papers with quite a few mis-spelled words, and when I tried to correct them, they would brush me off with “oh, the teacher says spelling isn’t important- just get your thoughts down.” I couldn’t believe it. Then when they brought home notes from the teachers, they had mis-spelled words, too, as well as poor handwriting. argh.

  2. While you would never get any argument from me about public education needing some “course corrections” given it typically lags real world application by about ten years, I generally remind people that we are the greatest nation in the world.. and that the world has ever seen, and all that was achieved with our public educational system throughout the course of our history (and, no, it’s not because people are emigrating here from other countries with better educational systems).
    Education begins at home; it’s a nature vs. nurture success story, and less about policy.

    1. Yes–once upon a time, our schools worked a lot better than they do now. I’m sure you’ve seen some of those tests students used to take, decades ago. Not many college graduates could pass them today.

    2. It’s all about the numbers and demographics. States with lower economic profiles tend to have students that test badly (for reasons I’ve already given) and the “richer” states students do much better. If you are talking about greater equality in education, that makes sense, although likely not practical in our culture for many reasons.

  3. As a bit of a postscript to my last reply in here… Erlene makes a point about poor sentence structure and prose. It goes even father than that in some cases. Being able to even speak in the King’s English is a problem for many.. and I am speaking mostly to what is known as “Black-American Dialect”.. directly linked to black Americans being raised in lower economic neighborhoods, with and all that failed diction, mumbled and slurred pronunciation, and prolific use of double-negatives… it all makes a person sound educationally lacking… but it’s part of the sub-culture.

    1. As a former teacher, I can tell you that kids from nice suburban neighborhoods avidly cultivated “Black American Dialect,” even though they knew better. One was always having to drag them back to speaking proper English.

    2. As your experience illustrates, it seems there’s some cultural “pride” or identity with the dialect; likely affiliated (and I am just a another white guy trying to understand anything black) to the popularity in urban rap.. the “gangsta” tough black guy stuff. Wouldn’t be the first time popular culture got in the way of progress.

  4. When we see these outrageous things happening, it’s only natural that we be appalled, but they are the last actions of a cornered and terrified creature. I don’t know if anyone here has ever killed a rattlesnake, but I can tell you from firsthand experience that a rattlesnake which is cornered and doomed will bite itself, I’ve seen it with my own eyes. If an education system is purposely hiring teachers with questionable reading abilities they are effectively biting themselves with venom-filled fangs.

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