The Test of Teachers

Janelle Castillo- Period 4- Honorbound

In order to sort out bad teachers, the education system filters them through testing and higher education requirements. The process is necessary to have an efficient system and is not an inherently bad method but what happens when the testing requirements turn into something as a weapon for current teachers? Current teachers have been benefiting from the added regulations to become a teacher because it creates a barrier for future better teachers who could have taken their jobs.

The daunting process to become an elementary teacher includes a bachelor’s degree, a teacher preparation program, and a state license or national certification to teach in public school. Although the process may seem fine to an outsider and hopefully beneficial to the education reform, it actually is a long and expensive maze of testing. The pre-service teacher ends up spending between $620 and $730 on registration and testing fees, or more if the subtests are taken separately or more than once. Most students spend about $1,000 or more trying to pass the tests [1].

Primarily, the beneficiaries of the added regulations are current teachers who are afraid of losing their jobs. Because of this fear, the teacher union greatly opposes charter schools that do not need to follow the strict state regulations for new teachers [1]. Conveniently, the union continues to oppose testing for current teachers [1]. Furthermore, the teacher union often pressures politicians to continue to add regulations on charter schools in exchange for their support. This was especially evident when New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, a union-backed Democrat, wanted to hobble charter schools by charging them rent, despite the previous negotiation with Former mayor Bloomberg to have free use of under-utilized space in traditional public schools. If this seems like a backwards attempt to help the education reform its because it is. The charter schools have been thriving and if anything there needs to be an increase of these type schools. Bronx 2, part of the Success Academies network, serves black and Latino children from mostly low-income families. Its students did extraordinarily well in the 2013 state examinations—97% passed mathematics and 77% passed English [2]. The school ranked third in the state, even beating children in Scarsdale, a wealthy New York City suburb. Bronx 2 shares space with PS 55, a traditional district public school where only 3% of students passed English and only 14% passed math [2]. Charter schools continue to become extinct as public school teachers say they will only vote for politicians with their best interest in mind.

It’s clear to see that the education system is corrupt as well as the politicians who promote these policies. Yet this is the obstacle all politicians encounter when running for a public office. You can promote a better policy all you want but unless you have the support of the people who are most concerned with the subject you could never be in a position to enact those policies.

  1. Linda Banks-Snatilli, “What does it take to become an elementary school teacher? Not just passion,” The Conversation, August 17, 2015, http://theconversation.com/what-does-it-take-to-become-an-elementary-school-teacher-not-just-passion-44643 .
  2. Chicago and New York, “Killing the golden goose,” The Economist, February 15, 2014, http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21596558-charter-schools-are-working-new-yorks-mayor-wants-stop-them-killing-golden .
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