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Public School Teachers Pay Others to Take Their Employment Tests

Written by Gary North on January 9, 2013

What if your child were being taught by a teacher who could not pass a 12th-grade-level test in that teacher’s major field? What if that teacher, with a B.A. in education, paid someone else to take a mandatory teacher qualification exam?

It happens all the time.

The scandal of the hire-an-exam-taker broke a year ago. But it did not break far. The media covered it up. After all, the integrity of the public schools must not be called into question. Parents might lose faith in the tax-funded school, system.

Economist Walter Williams reports:

Recently, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s blog carried a story titled “A new cheating scandal: Aspiring teachers hiring ringers.” According to the story, for at least 15 years, teachers in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee paid Clarence Mumford, who’s now under indictment, between $1,500 and $3,000 to send someone else to take their Praxis exam, which is used for K-12 teacher certification in 40 states. Sandra Stotsky, an education professor at the University of Arkansas, said, “(Praxis I) is an easy test for anyone who has completed high school but has nothing to do with college-level ability or scores.” She added, “The test is far too undemanding for a prospective teacher. … The fact that these people hired somebody to take an easy test of their skills suggests that these prospective teachers were probably so academically weak it is questionable whether they would have been suitable teachers.”

As a taxpayer in both Arkansas and Mississippi, I am appalled. I still pay school taxes in Mississippi. I own a rental house there.

Williams continues: “CNN broke this cheating story last July, but the story hasn’t gotten much national press since then.” I am not surprised.

Other than pulling their children out of the schools, what can parents do to stop this? Nothing.

Online homeschooling is spreading. Parents with decent educations will soon be able to remove their children. They will let the Khan Academy or competing sites teach their children. The losers will be parents who had rotten educations. Their children will receive the same sort of education.

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5 thoughts on “Public School Teachers Pay Others to Take Their Employment Tests

  1. In the 1970's, they did not hire anyone that went to school & learned a subject. Told them " No expirence"(SP) although a person could get a job with no skill whatsoever.

  2. retired teacher says:

    I took the CBEST (Californias Basic Skills Test)

    It is basically a 4th to 6th grade math quiz
    reading is about 5th grade
    then you write a paragragh

    I'm no genius but I got 100% on the (easy) reading part
    I got almost perfect, maybe missed one, on the math part (and I am certainly not great at math)

    wrote a substandard paragraph after having almost no instruction in writing– and passed

    this CBEST is the biggest joke
    they have dumbed it down to make it easier so the lowest can pass
    the barely literate

  3. Not surprising. As a test proctor for the GMAT (Graduate Management Entrance Exam) I had the experience of testing the same candidate three times. Each time the score was 215 out of 800. Yes, and you score 200 just to show up. Never did even score on the math section. And the candidate had received a 4-year degree from an accredited state university.

  4. What do you expect when the previous govenor of California and previous Mayor of San Francisco says "dis, dat, dem dose" for "This, that, them and those" and "ax' for "ask" he must have been educated by one of these teachers that cheated.

  5. When New York schoolteachers choose Venereal Disease for their role model, isn't it obvious American education is in trouble?