Massachussets institutes a
controversial teacher testing plan.
September 17, 1997
Online NewsHour Forum:two
Senators debate national education standards.
September 8, 1997:
tests the best route to better grades?
Browse the NewsHour's coverage of
Department of Education
A question from Don Bittle of Kent,
Who creates the tests? Is this the best way? and how do the teacher
unions feel about them?
Dr. John Silber, the chancellor of Boston University
and chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Education, answers:
National Evaluation Systems, Incorporated, 30 Gatehouse Road, Amherst,
Massachusetts 01002, prepared the test. They are well-qualified to
do this job. I know of no group that can guarantee to do it better.
In addition, individual subject tests were reviewed by experts in
The teachers' unions in Massachusetts have supported the certification
examination. While teachers' unions are obligated to defend persons
who are members of their unions and are actively engaged in the teaching
profession, they do not have any obligation to defend or support persons
who propose to become teachers but fail to meet rigorous tests.
It has been my experience with the Massachusetts Teachers' Association
and the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers that the union leaders
welcome the prospect of weeding out ill-prepared candidates for teaching
positions. They welcome the prospect of having better qualified persons
enter the profession and their unions.