. . . with Sally Dias, Vice President at Emmanuel College and member of a state task force assigned to examine why Black and Hispanic applicants lag behind white applicants on Massachusetts’ teacher licensing exams. She was quoted in today’s Boston Globe, “One test should really not be a determinant of someone’s career.”
Ms. Dias is absolutely correct. It’s patently unfair to make teachers pass a licensing exam when no other profession is required to pass a similar test. I mean, doctors don’t have to. No, wait, they have to pass their boards. Okay, so they’re the exception. No, wait again, lawyers have to pass the bar exam. Okay, so two exceptions. Nurses? No, registered nurses have their board examinations. Accountants? Well, they have a CPA exam. Stock brokers? Certainly they’re not licensed. Actually, they are.
I was a teacher for 6 years and my biggest professional frustration was the lack of respect so often accorded my profession. I would argue the single biggest reason for this lack of respect is the resistance, on the part of so many of my (now former) colleagues, to being held accountable for their performance. I believe that finding ways to increase diversity in our dwindling teacher corps is absolutely necessary. It’s just that this particular quote highlights yet one more time the entrenched thought within the teaching profession that is eroding, steadily and, I’m afraid, irrevocably, teaching’s very status as a profession.