Commentary by UUP President Frederick E. Kowal
The National Council on Teacher Quality criticized United University Professions (“Our budding teachers deserve better training in New York,” March 30) for our position regarding the State Education Department’s deeply flawed teacher certification process.
Hey, NCTQ, what took you so long?
After all, UUP has loudly voiced its concerns about New York’s teacher certification exams for the past two years. And for good reason: these tests are riddled with problems pertaining to content, their computerbased format — administered and scored by corporate education testing giant Pearson — the basis for cut scores, and the lack of timely access to test preparation materials.
SED changed certification requirements for 2014 and 2015 student teachers well after they started their teacher preparation programs. And the department was two years late in making test preparation materials available for the Educating All Students exam and Academic Literacy Skills Test.
SED’s latest imbroglio was its decision to require students to take the newly revised Content Specialty Tests before establishing passing scores for the exams. As of early April, graduates are languishing as SED figures things out. MORE