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Topic: NY teacher cert exam
Replies: 1   Last Post: Aug 23, 2000 2:57 PM

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Posts: 308
Registered: 12/3/04
NY teacher cert exam
Posted: Aug 23, 2000 9:05 AM
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Proving Fit to Teach, by a Half Measure


The entire text of the article can be found at

"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?

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Wayne Bishop

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