intro: "It was pouring rain and I was seriously sleep-deprived the morning I took the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test, New York State's main certification exam for teachers. I had signed up for the four-hour test on a whim, but when my alarm clock blared at 6:45 A.M. on July 15 -- a Saturday, no less -- I rued my bright idea.
I was not looking to switch careers. As an education reporter covering New York City schools, I had grown curious about the test, which I had written about several times in my first year on the beat. In one front-page story, I had reported that nearly a third of the city's teachers had failed the certification exam at least once. Yet several experienced teachers had told me the test was ridiculously easy. "
regarding the math on the practice exam, Suter wrote: "That was not the only way I was poorly prepared. While others had spent weeks poring over test prep manuals, I had taken a single practice exam. The questions had rattled me. You needed to remember the five pillars of Islam, understand osmosis and know whether barbed wire was invented before the telephone, to name a few. The math was so beyond me that I skipped five questions altogether. (It harked back to trigonometry class, which I had not thought about since 1985.) "
"Curiously, the math was much more manageable than I expected. You basically had to know how to multiply, divide, read graphs and do simple algebra equations. Determining the original price of a sale item given the rate of discount, for example. Or calculating someone's wages based on a sales commission. "
"I got a perfect score, 300, on the science and math section -- bizarre, considering that I failed precalculus in high school and never took another science course after tenth-grade chemistry. "
Is this another standardized test that should be eliminated or is it one that should be beefed up? Would you want a teacher that barely passed this test teaching YOUR kids math?