“I read that New York teachers don’t have to be literate, anymore. Is that true, Mom?,” my seventh-grader asked last week. He’s recently become determined to “fix all education in America” (I have no idea where a son of mine could have picked up such an interest), and was on the Internet doing research. He’d already expressed his surprise at New York City’s less than 50% college readiness graduation rate and the fact that the most frequently failed college course was Algebra.
Now, he wanted to know about the NY Board of Regents decision to eliminate the Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST) for prospective teachers.
My thirteen year-old son isn’t the only one puzzled by the ruling. I am, too.
Among the move’s supporters are deans of Education Schools. Michael Middleton of Hunter College was quoted by The New York Times as saying, “We already know that our licensure candidates have a bachelor’s degree, which in my mind means they have basic literacy and communication skills.”
First of all, is “basic” really where we want to set the bar for those who educate our children? Don’t we all hope our children progress beyond “basic” themselves?
And, Madison’s long-term disastrous reading results.