Keierleber, Mark. “More Than Half of Aspiring Elementary Teachers Fail America’s Most Used Licensure Exam, New NCTQ Report Finds.” The 74 The Problem With Homework Not Much Evidence on Whether It Works Comments, 2019, Website.
The research stated that there is a high percentage of teacher candidates failing the standardized test needed to approve their teacher’s licensure. The Praxis exam for elementary education that includes mathematics, science reading/language arts, and social studies has been criticized for its methodology. The researchers found that the majority of the failing candidates are African Americans followed by Hispanic. Therefore Keierleber argues that this data reflects what is happening in schools. The precise point that he makes here is that that the test “contributes to a racial imbalance within the teaching profession.” That means that even if there is a high percentage of African American students in schools, the majority of teachers are Caucasian. The lack of balance within the school thus leads to cases of lethargy among the leaners and thus affects their performance. As the study shows the quality of the teacher has a direct relationship with the performance of the learners. In the same case, the idea of the lack of balance in the teaching fraternity might have an impact on the leaners.
I agree when the article argues that part of the problem for this failure is also the lack of proper student preparation by institutions or universities. This is because most of the teaching programs are based on history, mathematics, and science, and they do not offer mandatory courses for students to be ready for the Praxis test. One thing that is lacking in these teaching programs is the practical skills that might help a teacher deal effectively with the leaners. The curriculum in the university should emphasize more on teaching skills such as the psychology of learning, and teaching approaches. These approaches would ensure that the teacher-student is well equipped to deal with the challenges that they get in class.
On the contrary, Universities are not taking care of their students’ learning process based on life obstacles; they are just taking care of students’ money as well as the government. According to the article, most of the applicants that fail the test (African Americans and Hispanic) are not sure of whether to retake it. The reason for their confusion is that they do not have a guarantee of passing even if they make it again. Besides, most of these student-teachers do not want to spend more time and more money. For this reason, most of these students end up dropping the teaching profession.
Additionally, these students feel disappointed with their education because of the by the poor preparation, the high cost of tests and the lack of help by institutions. The feeling that these learners have is that the trial should at least measure the skills that they have acquired. Some of them face many challenges including fighting as a minority, put so much hope and all the effort only to end up failing a test that does not reflect anything on the skills that they have learned. While there might be a counterargument on this issue, it is evident that there is a problem that needs to be sorted in regards to the exam. The focus of the test should change and try to focus on testing other skills rather than the current approach.
Keierleber, Mark. “More Than Half of Aspiring Elementary Teachers Fail America’s Most Used Licensure Exam, New NCTQ Report Finds | The 74.” The 74. N.p., 27 Feb. 2019. Web. 11 Mar. 2019. Link: https://www.the74million.org/more-than-half-of-aspiring-elementary-teachers-fail-americas-most-used-licensure-exam-new-nctq-report-finds/