The New Yorker magazine reports:
Another district-court judge, Kimba Wood, subsequently found that the city had violated Title VII because the LAST was not properly validated, or proven to show what it said it showed. In 2021, the city agreed to a schedule of payments. This fight over tests has proved expensive: the city now owes many of these teachers significant back pay and other financial compensation. The payouts are expected to total about $1.8 billion—the highest dollar-value judgment ever brought against New York City. ...A similar problem occurs with all the other ways of doing assessments.
Herman Grim, a Queens resident who will get a payout of more than two million dollars from the city after failing the LAST in the nineties, could not give any examples of why the test was racially biased. The clearly intended takeaway is that teachers who weren’t smart enough to pass a basic-knowledge exam cried racism and will get to collect millions of dollars as a result.
In 2014, New York began requiring teacher candidates to take the edT.P.A., an extensive assessment that focusses on their performance in the classroom, drawing on sample lesson plans and materials, written narratives about their experiences, and video samples of their teaching. A few years later, the state lowered the passing score for the test; Black test-takers were nearly twice as likely to fail the edT.P.A. as white or Hispanic test-takers, according to an analysis done by Chalkbeat. Last year, the state got rid of the edT.P.A altogether. ...Here is a man with a $2.2 million payout. I did not realize this, but apparently it is very common for Blacks to have low-battery smoke detectors chirping in the background.
Racially disparate pass rates on aptitude tests aren’t just a problem for aspiring teachers. The ACT, the SAT, the LSAT, the MCAT—Black students do worse than white students on nearly every prominent precollege and preprofessional test. ...
New York has cycled through at least four licensure exams since the late nineteen-eighties, always eventually dropping them. But it’s not clear that any of these changes have actually improved students’ education.