National Press Club Speech – Proposes the Creation of a National Examination for Beginning Teachers

Al Shanker advocates that a national teachers' examination be developed and implemented. He insists that current examinations are not rigorous enough, nor are they nationally administered. He acknowledges that the teacher shortage presents an obstacle to this plan, but insists it is necessary anyway. He believes that an independent group of educational experts, possibly appointed by some government officials, but not overseen by the government, would develop the test. He says the test should address three factors: subject specialty, judgment on instructional decisions, and an extensive internship program similar to those in the medical profession. In order to make the test effective, Shanker urges publicity from states adopting the standard, eventual prosecution for failure to comply, and that entrance into teachers' unions be contingent on passing the test. Shanker then answers a number of questions about the proposal on a range of topics including standards; composition of the administering board; whether private schools teachers, college professors, or existing teachers would be required to take the test; whether the test would adversely affect minorities, and how this test and internship proposal differ from current tests and student teaching programs.

Washington, D.C.
13 pages
Attachment(click to download)
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