New York State Schools Are Literally Sacrificing Literacy For Diversity In Teachers

Apparently, a literacy test in New York designed to weed out unqualified teachers is racist and should be eliminated.

Since almost two-thirds of white applicants pass the test and blacks and Latinos pass the test at rates less than 50 percent, the New York State Board of Regents has decided to get rid of it – because diversity is more important than literacy.

Amazingly, many educators are on board with this idea.

Pace University Professor Leslie Soodak told the Associated Press that “We want high standards, without a doubt. Not every given test is going to get us there.”

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

The “literacy test” is really a “12th grade assessment,” or something that a high school graduate should easily pass. The AP bought a copy of a practice test for $20 from the state education department’s website. For one example, it features JFK’s inaugural address and asks questions like: “In which excerpt from the passage do Kennedy’s word choices most clearly establish a tone of resolve?”

Kate Walsh, the president of National Council on Teacher Quality, which pushes for higher standards for teachers, said that blacks and Latinos don’t score as well as whites on the literacy test because of factors like poverty and the legacy of racism.

“There’s not a test in the country that doesn’t have disproportionate performance on the part of blacks and Latinos,” Walsh said.

This was brought to court before. In 2015, a federal judge ruled the test was not discriminatory just because more minorities failed it. But that doesn’t matter.

Apparently, diversity matters more than literacy in finding teachers.

Opponents of this move argue that eliminating a literacy test – any test, really – would lead to people with little ability to teach and that is considerably more important than diversity.

But the left is already trying to dance around this, claiming the test wasn’t any good in the first place.

Michael Middleton, dean of the Hunter College School of Education in Manhattan, said that of the battery of assessments, “It’s the one that looks like it’s the least related to the actual work that teachers do day to day.”


Charles Sahm, the director of education policy at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, is a strong supporter of raising the bar for teachers but not a fan of this particular literacy test.

So in New York State, your kids’ teachers are going to be illiterate, but at least they might not be white.

And that’s all that counts.

H/T: The Blaze



Robert Gehl

About Robert Gehl

Robert Gehl is a college professor in Phoenix, Arizona. He has over 15 years journalism experience, including two Associated Press awards. He lives in Glendale with his wife and two young children.