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.