Virginia Drops Non-Math Teacher Math Tests

Joanne Jacobs:

Virginia will drop a basic skills test for would-be teachers which measures high-school-level reading, writing and math performance. Instead, the state will develop its own test of college-level reading and writing skills. Only math teachers will be tested on math knowledge.

Here are “advanced math” test prep questions for Praxis I, which is being abandoned. Thirty-five years out of high school, I can do these problems in my head. It’s hard to believe there are people smart enough to teach who can’t pass a basic math test. How are they going to average students’ grades?

One thought on “Virginia Drops Non-Math Teacher Math Tests”

  1. Maybe it’s being too picky, but the term “advanced math” doesn’t seem to reflect the sample test — the test requires perhaps knowledge of “middling arithmetic”.
    According to the newspaper article, 97% of the Virginia teachers DID pass the test. So they dropped the test for the 3% who could not? Likely not, but likely that the teachers taking the test didn’t want to have to learn or know basic arithmetic. Of course, this begs the question of what score it takes to “pass” the test.
    “We need teachers to be able to communicate with the students they teach.” says a Board of Education member. So true, and what these teacher communicate will be “Arithmetic is not important, you don’t really need to understand the material. See I’m a teacher, and can’t do this stuff either!”
    These teachers presumably have graduated high school and college, maybe have even advanced degrees. So we can conclude that their math teachers and the curriculum throughout their entire academic life failed to teach them, and they failed to learn basic arithmetic.

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