Unqualified Teachers Want Sympathy for Handicapping Our Youth

Published September 27, 2007

Tracy Jan’s exposé of minority teachers failing certification exams should be a call for action (“Minority Scores Lag on Teaching Test, Panel To Study Failure Rate, Bias Complaints,” August 19, Boston Globe).

The usual defenders of the woeful status quo are quick to reassure us the test may be “culturally biased.” But a 2001 study showed “students in Illinois who attended schools with average teacher quality and only completed math up to Algebra II actually were more ready for college than their peers who completed calculus but went to schools with the lowest-teacher quality.”

Our poorer inner-city schools, with the most educationally challenged minority students, get the least qualified teachers. It is time we accepted the challenge of reforming non-performing schools that mis-educate teachers, who then mis-educate students.

There should be no more special pleading for those who handicap our children and demand higher taxes for the privilege.

Ralph W. Conner ([email protected]) is local legislation manager for The Heartland Institute.