Teacher-Licensing Exams in New York Are Racist Because Too Few Minorities Pass


Minority teachers in New York City don’t have to pass basic reading and writing tests if the outcomes are unequal among the races. A decision by federal district court judge Kimba Wood (photo below), a Progressive and Reagan appointee, has found the current and second New York City licensing exam unfair to minorities because it was improperly validated despite the fact that they had a multicultural “Bias Review Committee” and sent out surveys to determine if the skills measured were needed for teaching.

Judge Wood is also befuddled as to why any test would assume teachers need to have an understanding of the liberal arts – reading and writing.

“Instead of beginning with ascertaining the job tasks of New York teachers, the two LAST examinations began with the premise that all New York teachers should be required to demonstrate an understanding of the liberal arts,” Judge Wood wrote.

In an earlier decision, she said that because the minority candidates were failing that test in greater numbers than whites, the burden was on public officials to prove the test served a valid purpose.

Judge Kimba Wood

The New York State Education Department  establishes the criteria for the test but no official has yet commented. The same department has imposed Common Core Standards and teacher evaluations to raise the bar but this one judge is looking to possibly lower the bar for minorities.

According to the city’s Department of Education, while 25 percent of the city’s public school students are black and 41 percent are Hispanic, 60 percent of its teachers are white. Fifteen percent of the teachers are Hispanic and 18 percent are black.

The judge seems to think whites can’t teach minorities. We now have to have illiterate minorities to bring those numbers up.

Get those rubber rooms ready. They’re about to expand!

New York City hires firefighters based on reduced standards. A woman was just hired to become a firefighter even though she is unqualified.  She didn’t have to pass the physical because she is a woman.

In 2012, a federal judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis, ordered racial quotas for the NYFD because of the number of minorities that had failed the test.

In a previous ruling, Judge Garaufis accused the FDNY of being a “bastion of white male privilege.”

“While the City’s other uniformed services and fire departments across the country have changed to reflect the communities they serve, employment as a New York City firefighter — arguably ‘the best job in the world’ — has remained a stubborn bastion of white male privilege,” Garaufis wrote in October 2011.

So-called ‘white privilege’ is whites passing tests.

That decision cost the city over $127 million in damages.

Now we have Judge Wood who has just thrown out the New York City teacher’s licensing exam because too many minorities failed. The costs to the city will be astronomical if the city doesn’t appeal and win. There could be hundreds of thousands of claims from teachers who were fired, demoted or denied jobs because they couldn’t pass the tests now deemed racially discriminatory.

This decision affects all of New York State at a time they are trying to toughen standards.

Blacks and Hispanics had trouble passing the old teacher-licensing test, LAST-1 which was used until 2004. The new test, LAST-2 included a reading and writing section minorities are failing in record numbers. There is a new test, ALST, which will be used, but is on hold and it too is being questioned by the judge. There will be a hearing on that test later this month.

In a ruling last Wednesday. Federal Judge Kimba Wood ruled that officials had not shown that the material on the test “accurately measured the minimum knowledge about the liberal arts and sciences that teachers need to be competent.”

“Minimum!” “To be competent!”

She thought the unequal outcomes was evidence that the test was unfair.

What is now considered racially-biased apparently are tests with unequal outcomes according to the judge at least. This sounds like social justice.

The 2004-2012 licensing exam of 80 multiple choice plus an essay section was vetted by a multicultural “Bias Review Committee.” Blacks scored between 51% and 62% and Hispanics scored between 47% and 55%. More than 90% of whites passed.

The class action suit began in 1996 with a lawsuit filed by three Blacks and one Latino. One must wonder if a leftist organization was behind it.

Appeals over the years brought the case to Judge Kimba Wood who ruled in 2012 that requiring teachers to pass the test violated terms of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The questions appear neutral.

Prospective educators were asked to identify the mathematical principle of a linear relationship when given four examples. Another asked them to read four passages from the Constitution and identify which illustrated checks and balances. The test checks basic knowledge, basic academic skills including reading comprehension and reading of basic charts and graphs.

Apparently that’s too much to ask of prospective minority teachers.

This latest ruling issued last Wednesday claims the test wasn’t sufficiently vetted for bias against Blacks and Hispanics.

The plaintiffs now get to appoint a monitor to evaluate if the test also has invalid provisions that were found as problematic in the previous version of the exam.

The judge did rule out a class action demand for back pay and other damages. They will have to do that through individual suits.

It could potentially involve hundreds of thousands of teachers.

Between the NYFD and the teacher employment tests, one might safely say that any testing of minorities is problematic.

Because minorities aren’t passing, the judge ruled the tests are unfair. The judge said the test was not properly validated to ensure that it was racially and ethically unbiased.

A lawyer for the New York City Law Department, Eamonn Foley, praised the decision. This is what you get with a communist administration. Social justice doesn’t mean you have to qualify – it’s all about quotas which the Supreme Court has already ruled are unconstitutional.

The tests are neutral but the burden was on the New York City Board of Education to justify the measured skills as necessary for teachers to have, resulting in an unequal outcome.

Having knowledge of basic subject matter apparently doesn’t justify unequal outcomes in the world of Kimba Wood. We all want minority teachers but we also want them to be qualified.

In New York and elsewhere in the country, we have a social justice concept called ‘disparate impact’ which is applied to housing and employment and which is now being twisted to apply to tests that measure a person’s competence.

In United States anti-discrimination law, the theory of disparate impact holds that practices in employment, housing, or other areas may be considered discriminatory and illegal if they have a disproportionate “adverse impact” on persons in a protected class.

The theory will apply unequal justice by giving preference to minorities who fail tests as opposed to whites who do better on qualifying exams.

Most everyone is now a protected class except whites.


Sources: NY TimesNew York Times againNY PostEducation NewsDaily Caller

Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (001) – New York State …test prep guide.

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7 years ago

I was told by a Black co-worker that noted Black individuals (educators, ministers, attorneys) were called onto a committee that helped to devise a Black-oriented civil service test. The test used many Black idioms (for example, “deuce and a quarter” means a Buick 225). It was believed that this test would substantially improve the minority passing rate. However, to the consternation of the committee that devised the test questions, the minority passing rate on this Black-oriented test was WORSE than on the original “white-biased” exam. Certainly the city wants to attract more Blacks and Latinos into the NYPD and FDNY. It appears, however, that the only way to do so is going to be through discriminatory racial quotas, as there is no way to devise a civil service exam that does not have “disparate impact” (that is, too many minorities not passing).

7 years ago

What kind of education can children get if their teachers are not competent in reading and writing? This is the left’s war on culture.