The Disgrace of the GACE

It’s time for some more Georgia education politics! A local news station recently aired a “whistle-blowing” piece on the content knowledge (or really, lack of content knowledge) of Georgia public school teachers. In order to become a Georgia public school teacher, candidates must pass an exam called the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE). There are two “parts” of the GACE future teachers must pass. The first is the “Basic Skills” section; that is a four-hour, multiple-choice-heavy test including questions on “general knowledge” and the classic 3R’s. The second part is a subject-specific content assessment. Here, GACE begins to act almost like the AP. There are various subjects in which teachers can be tested, including both traditional school topics (like “Middle School Math,” or “Reading,” or “Latin”) as well as more pedagogical topics (like “School Counseling” and “Early Childhood Education”). Regardless, each section is graded on a 100-300 point scale, with a 220 being a “pass.” The number and types of subject-specific portions a teacher must pass before entering the classroom varies from county to county.

So, now here comes the news-worthy piece of information: over 12000 teachers across the state are currently teaching AND have failed AT LEAST ONE part of the GACE. Over 700 current-teachers failed at least one part of the GACE at least FIVE times. The record number of fails for a current-teacher was found to be 18–making her the Susan Lucci of education.

Now, logically, this really is inexcusable. Let’s suppose that we’re talking about a future-teacher who is in, or has been in, an education program at a college.

  1. Consider the “basic-skills” part of the GACE. It does include some content questions, which we will discuss in the next point. As for the pedagogical questions: if someone who is about to have or who already has a degree in education cannot answer “basic” pedagogical multiple-choice questions, then we have uncovered a huge problem in the university programs. If you have a degree in education, you should be able to answer those questions. Easily.
  2. Now let’s take the content-specific part of the GACE. Failing that would mean a teacher first and foremost does not know the subject material she is potentially going to be teaching. And note we’re not talking about pedagogical questions anymore–we are strictly talking about CONTENT. But there’s an even more basic way to interpret this: if the topic is, say, “Middle School Mathematics,” or “Elementary School Language Arts,” and someone who has at least a high-school diploma (and in most cases, a college degree) cannot pass a test on the material then we have bigger problems than we realize. Presumably if you’ve passed middle school, then you can pass a multiple-choice test in middle school math; if you’ve passed elementary school, then you can pass a multiple-choice test in elementary school language arts. This is not rocket surgery.

But, wait! Not every teacher has a degree in education! Still, to be a teacher in the great state of Georgia, one must have a college degree (unless one wishes to home-school).  So maybe these teachers who are failing the GACE are simply those who do not have a degree in education! So now what? In some ways our argument becomes more simplified, as #2 above still holds. So:

  1. Let’s look at the “basic skills” test. That is the only portion of the exam with pedagogical-type questions, and hence the only portion of the exam a high-school graduate may not have seen. And it seems reasonable that this would be a section in which those without education degrees would struggle. Still, this is why we invented practice exams and test booklets. If you know you have to pass this test to teach, and if you’re serious about wanting to teach, then you will find a way to learn the damn material.

But, maybe we’re being completely unreasonable here. Perhaps the GACE is really a non-trivial exam. How difficult is the test? Well, on-tape we have superintendents and county board of education members alike opining that the exam is “easy.” Another education official said that the GACE was never intended to be the “highest of academic hurdles”; instead, if was to serve merely as a “bare minimum” measure. And, honestly, this test is a joke.

Below are some examples taken from GACE’s own practice exam page. The hope is to show the variety of questions (personally, I believe the most difficult questions ARE those related to education; however, they are still do-able). Also note for the mathematics sections, calculators ARE allowed. Last, for those who are curious or unsure, italicized and underlined are the correct answers:

Basic Skills:

  • “(9)The critical spirit appeared in almost every form; in weekly and monthly magazines, in essays and pamphlets, in editorials and news stories, and in novels like Churchill’s Coniston and Sinclair’s The Jungle.“What change would improve the grammar of sentence (9)?
    • changing the semicolon into a colon
    • capitalizing Spirit
    • reversing the order of almost every
    • removing the and before in novels
  • Janice bought a pair of shoes on sale for $40. If the price of the shoes had been reduced by 20%, what was the original price?
    • $45
    • $50
    • $55
    • $60

GACE Early Childhood Education

  • Which of the following activities is appropriate for a preschool?
    • memorizing poems
    • writing essays
    • reading stories independently
    • learning letter shapes
  • Which of the following terms is used to describe educational interventions that require child participation and imitate everyday behaviors?
    • non-agressive
    • naturalistic
    • artificial
    • mechanistic

English

  • Which of the following sentences is an example of an understatement?
    • Ask me if I really care!
    • Who knew that grass stains could come out of those trousers?
    • World War II created some discomfort for the Roosevelt administration.
    • Henry ate a ton of French fries.
  • Which of these metrical feet consists of an unaccented syllable followed by an accented one?
    • anapest
    • dactyl
    • trochee
    • iamb

Mathematics:

  • If x is a multiple of 12 but not a multiple of 9, which of the following expressions CANNOT be an integer?
    • x/12
    • x/3
    • x/4
    • x/36

Middle School Mathematics

  • Select the answer in which the fractions are arranged from least to greatest
    • 3/8, 1/3, 4/7, 2/5
    • 1/3, 3/8, 2/5, 4/7
    • 3/8, 4/7, 1/3, 2/5
    • 1/3, 2/5, 3/8, 4/7

==============================================

Wow. So that was frightening, right? Where do we go from here? Here are some suggestions:

  • Fire the flunkies. Seems logical, right? Well, logical is not equivalent to possible. There are a few hurdles in accomplishing this task.
    1. The teachers who flunked the exam may already have tenure. I’m guessing, for example, that Ms. Lucci has tenure. There is no other possible way she could have taken the test 18 times and be employed. If the teacher has tenure, though, you’re screwed. It is almost impossible to fire a teacher once she has “earned” tenure–see a previous blogpost for more info on tenure.
    2. Just a guess: the counties and school districts that have hired teachers who flunked the GACE are the counties and school districts who are the most “desperate” for teachers. So, taking away the teachers they do have is only going to make their classrooms more crowded and their superintendents more stressed. Frankly, I would prefer having my child in a class of 50 taught by a competent professional than in a class of 25 taught by someone who could not even answer the above questions, but that may just be me. If you’re still so desperate as a county or school or district, demote the flunkies to teachers aides. Put them in charge of organizing handouts; don’t put them in charge of the actual classroom.
  • Prevent this from happening again by examining the universities. I’m going to take a WILD stab in the dark and guess that, in Georgia, the vast majority of teachers earn some kind of teaching degree from a select list of colleges and universities (all of which, I will guess, are IN GEORGIA). Surely the next thing the whistle-blowers will uncover is how off-the-mark these education programs are. Many colleges do already have in-place sequences of content courses for future teachers; these courses are key to solving this issue. These courses need more attention and care; they need more structure, more content, and the expectations of the students in those classes need to be held to the highest possible level. We need to quit screwing around with this. We have got to find a way to make sure the people teaching our children are competent.

References:

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18 thoughts on “The Disgrace of the GACE

  1. I agree that there should be a limit on passing a specific content exam! Maybe a “three-strikes-you’re-out” rule. For example, many nursing programs will not accept students that have attempted certain courses, or an entrance exam, more than once. To be fair though, passing the basic skills portion of the GACE is required before being accepted into a school of education, not at the end of the program as implied above. Take GGC for example: http://www.ggc.edu/academics/schools/school-of-education/admission-criteria/index.html

  2. That’s an interesting link–that’s for posting. I’d be interested to see what GGC allows for the exemption of the GACE (a brief mention in the site you referenced). Looking at other local colleges, the University of Georgia’s exemption policy on the GACE Basic Skills is merely a combined SAT score of over 1000 (or combined ACT score of 43 or GRE score of 1030):

    http://www.coe.uga.edu/esse/academic-programs/early-childhood-and-elementary-education/b-s-e-d/admissions/

    [Note that according to UGA’s admissions page, the average freshman SAT score on the non-writing portion was over a 1200 in 2012…so…presumably satisfying “over 1000” isn’t that hard for most students.]

    Georgia Southern has identical recommendations for exempting the GACE Basic Skills Portion as UGA. Moreover, GA Southern cites these exemption policies as coming from the creators of the GACE–so, for the rest of my post, I’ll assume all colleges will have the same exemption minimums:

    http://coe.georgiasouthern.edu/exemptionscores.html

    [Note that according to about.com, 2012 statistics on the GA Southern incoming class has a 25th/75th percentile math+verbal SAT score of 1130/1180, so again the 1000 mark shouldn’t be hard to hit.]

    Last one, I promise! =) Georgia State University (again, according to about.com) has a 25th/75th percentile math+verbal SAT score of 1000/1190.

  3. Take the test before deciding how “easy” it is. The math may be titled elementary math however the actual test is based on pedagogy. And while I do agree with you that teachers who have failed the test multiple times should not teach, you should also keep in mind the sections of the test. There are five basic sections: English Language Arts (based on pedagogy), Social Studies (A world history test where any type of history question is fair game from the beginning of the world up to the present day. If you think you can pass that on the first try without studying then my hat is off to you.), Math (based on pedagogy), Science (Again, any type of science question is fair game.) and Health/PE/Fine Arts. If I were to bet, I would imagine that the section most failed by the teachers that you are talking about in this blog post is the Health/PE/Fine Arts. This section is not taught in most teacher certification curricula because it is actually a specialized degree.

    Also, you say you would rather have your child in a class with 50 students rather than one with 25 just to ensure that he or she is not in a class with a teacher that has failed one portion of the GACE. Please, let me know how well this turns out. I am sure that your child will get the adequate attention he or she needs and the correct scaffolding. I am sure that your child will never be forgotten. The teacher will never feel overwhelmed and forget information. That will be the perfect classroom because that teacher passed a certification test.

    Just so you know, before you begin bashing me (because you seem to be the kind of person who would do that) I do not think that failing the GACE multiple times is acceptable. I think that those in teacher education programs need to study hard and do the best that they can on the GACE. However, I believe that you need to keep in mind that the people you are talking about in this post are almost all about 21 years old. They do not have much practical experience in the classroom. They have never had their own classroom. Maybe give them a second chance to retake the test before deciding that they should never be allowed to teach.

    Also, I encourage you to take the test and see if you pass. You claim that this is a test that everyone should pass because it is elementary education information so you should be fine. Put your money where your mouth is. It should be interesting.

    Also, as a side note, calculators are not allowed at most test sites.

    1. I totally agree with your post. I have taken the GACE, basic skills and Middle Grades Mathematics. I passed each one on the first try. Let me tell you the Middle Grades Mathematics test is not as easy as one might perceive. I have a BS in mathematics and found that test to be a little challenging. It is not a true representation of the math that is taught in middle school.

  4. You bring up some interesting points. Thank you for reading this and generating discussion points.

    The purpose of my article was to say, “On video there are school superintendents, board of education members, and other academic officials saying this test is easy, and was always MEANT to be easy. And people are still failing it. A lot. And these people are still teaching. What’s wrong with this picture?” 

    Now, certainly based on the questions that I have found off GACE’s own practice pages and which I included in my article, I do believe the exam seems fairly easy (but note that I did say that for one not preparing for a teaching job, the pedagogy questions could and should prove challenging). I vehemently believe that the exam should be easy for one graduating from a four-year program in education. I vehemently believe that someone who intends to spend their life educating children (whether they are my children or yours) should be able to pass this exam on the first go-round. I also believe they should not set foot near children (again, mine or yours) as any kind of educational authority figure until they have passed all necessary portions of the exam.

    Why? Better question: why not? Pre-med majors, when they are 21 and inexperienced, take the MCATs; this test asks questions on chemistry, biology, physics, and other branches of science. If the pre-med major doesn’t pass all sections of the MCAT, he’s certainly not allowed to treat patients. Pre-law majors, when they are 21 and inexperienced, take the LSATs; this test asks questions on logic (including some mathematics), reading comprehension, and examines writing skills. If the pre-law major doesn’t pass all sections of the LSAT, he will not be allowed to try his own case. Why is it OK for those teaching our children to get a “pass” at 21 for failing essentially a similar (though easier, according to education experts) type of exam? Why is it OK to fail any number of sections of the GACE and still continue to “earn” experience working in the classroom, “teaching” children? The GACE is now required of all starting educators–it is not a test specifically designed for those with years of experience. It should be treated just like the MCAT and LSAT, and other similar exams. If these people cannot pass, they shouldn’t be allowed to proceed. Moreover, they should NEVER be allowed to proceed BEFORE they have passed all sections.

    Clearly, your age comment is really the only thing that bothered me. Specifically, you wrote:
     
    “I believe that you need to keep in mind that the people you are talking about in this post are almost all about 21 years old. They do not have much practical experience in the classroom. They have never had their own classroom. Maybe give them a second chance to retake the test before deciding that they should never be allowed to teach.”

    You imply that because these future-teachers have not actually taught, then they are not necessarily capable of answering some of these questions–which are based on experience. First (and this is a minor point) this contradicts your earlier comment in betting the section failed by most is Health/PE/Fine Arts–and not any that you said were based on pedagogy. Second, if this test is meant to be taken by people as they are starting their careers in the classroom, then a 21-year-old senior who’s just taken four years of pedagogy, methods, curriculum development and child psychology classes should be perfectly prepared. Whether they’ve actually “gone through the motions” or not, they should know the correct answers to multiple-choice pedagogical questions.

    But still, let’s say age is the issue. Suppose someone takes the exam the first (and maybe even second) time while finishing up their undergraduate programs; they are 21, have little-to-no experience (unless they go to a college with an in-class semester). That only excuses the first one or two attempts. The people the news article was highlighting who were most scary to me were those 700 (out of 12000, which granted is “only” about 6%) who had failed more than FIVE times and were still teaching. Those people are not 21. Those people do have experience…if that’s what we’re arguing is required to pass. Those people are still teaching. Why? Should passing all appropriate sections of the GACE become a pre-requisite for tenure? Would that help?

    If you believe that the GACE may only be conquered with experience, age and time, then your issue is not with me but with the creators of the exam and the “teachers of the teachers”; the exam is meant to be taken by these 21-year-olds as they start their teaching careers. If these 21-year-olds cannot pass it, then analyzing the test authors and the test preparation materials (which does include 4-year education degree programs) is a natural next step.

    1. The exam you speak of , and write about, the basic, is NOT meant to be taken before starting a teaching career. I think that is where a lot of people are pointing out that it’s misleading. The basic is meant to be taken by those BEFORE going into a teaching program. As many have pointed out the test, especially the math portion is a bit more difficult than your sample questions lead one to believe. .the “middle school math” as one commenter correctly pointed out includes math that is beyond what is actually taught in middle school.. Furthermore, what section and version of the GACE were failed and which teachers failed them? Do the failed portions corespond to the subjects being taught? Was the entrance exam failed but then the exit passed? Your child is in safe hands for example if a 7th grade math teacher has a low score in history… .or if your 3rd graders math teacher has trouble with advanced trigonometry, or had trouble with the entrance math portion, but during the teaching program made vast improvements so was exempted from taking the entrance again and passed their exit gace with flying colors.Ultimately, i believe as many do that standardized testing is a poor reflection of knowledge and intelligence. This is not only true of children, but of ANYone taking a standardized test..Correctly, there has to be some way of measuring knowledge and intelligence on both fronts, both the teachers and the taught, but i believe standardized testing should be A guide, not THE guide in determining whether or not one has successfully retained the knowledge..I have seen many students who’s yearlong classroom performance points to nothing but effective teaching and effective learning..But test anxiety, or simply sitting in the same spot for hours at a time staring at a computer in complete silence, shows otherwise. These teachers you speak of, what does their classroom performance say about them? Their students? How excited are they to go to school and how much new knowledge do they love to show off when they get home? Can they read the billboards on the highway? Even the ones you wish they couldn’t? Do they know when the cashier cheats them out of a dollar? Or when you say “an hour” but its been one and a half? THESE are the things that really matter in education. .not numbers on a paper. Your children are not numbers, not statistics ,not bad colors or good colors on a report, and neither is their teacher. You want educational Pedagogy? Study Gardners “multiple intelligences theory” Even still there is no 100% effective standardized test able to accurately reflect them all, and the Gace especially doesn’t begin to come close.

  5. Recheck your research. If your not an education major you haven’t a clue. We are not taught nor prepared for a certification test in college. This test is all about scenarios and not 1 teacher teaches the same therefore will not conclude the same answer. It’s all about politics and how much money can the state get from someone seeking certification.

    1. I definitely agree with this statement. I have taught for 14 years on the college level in my subject area. I am trying to get certification the traditional route, and was told that I had to take the content GACE for the MAT program. That test was horrid. I have NEVER taught most of that material in ANY college course that I have taught, and I was a good teacher. Either the test makers are out of touch or the test taker is out of touch. If I don’t pass, I don’t know what I will do, but what a horrid 5 hour test to take to have to prove yourself after so many years of excellent evaluations and even published work.

  6. Thank you for reading, and for your post.

    If you can provide research (with references) towards your arguments (either your argument regarding state seeking money from test takers or your argument regarding the illegitimacy of my sources), I will gladly repost.

    However, I am curious as to with which bits of “research” you take issue. Are you implying that the Atlanta Journal Constitution (the original source and inspiration for this blog) was incorrect? That their quotes and videos were taken out of context? Do you think that the sample questions–taken from the GACE’s own website–were not an accurate display of the material? That GACE did not accurately display their own test? Do you believe that the links posted in earlier comments to education programs at universities and exemption from the GACE by SAT scores are erroneous? That the statistics on incoming freshman GPAs (which, granted…coming from about.com is the best case against accuracy) are highly off-base?

    Those are the only bits of “research” I have done.

    Towards your comment about preparation, however, here is one bit of “research” in your favor. In conjunction with US News and World Report, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) recently released a 100 page document (which can be found at http://www.nctq.org/dmsStage/Teacher_Prep_Review_2013_Report) which summarized the findings of a multi-year study of over 1000 institutions which collectively prepare over 99 percent of the nation’s traditionally trained new teachers. The institutions were evaluated (depending upon the program) on up to 18 different criteria, including student selection, content preparation, professional skills, and outcomes/post-graduate monitoring.

    Each program was given a 0-4 star rating, with 4 being exceptional and 0 being dubbed a “warning sign.” Out of the 1200 elementary and secondary programs (both undergrad and graduate), only 4 programs IN THE COUNTRY received the highest rating; none of those programs was in elementary education. In the great state of Georgia, 19 elementary education programs (two graduate) were evaluated. Four of those programs earned warning signs, and the highest ranked had 2/4 stars. Comparatively, 22 secondary programs in the state were evaluated, the lowest of which scored 1.5 stars.

    These are not great statistics, and while there is no program-by-program analysis within a mere 100 page document, it does support your claim that teachers are not prepared. But it doesn’t say what they are unprepared FOR. It doesn’t say specifically what they are not being taught.

    Most of the GACE examples that were posted online by the GACE were purely content-based or pedagogy-content-based (the GACE website still does not have sample test questions on “scenarios”, as you call them). This, coupled with the AJC’s report, is still very supportive of the notion that the bigger problem in teacher preparation is with content and not “scenarios” or “experience in the classroom.” Even if we allow for “scenarios” or “experience” questions to be on the GACE, are education majors surprised that they have to take this exam? Do they not study for it? Are there not sample exams and practice materials? Do they not actively seek preparation materials? Is the percentage of experience/scenario questions so large that they override the impact of content/pedagogy questions (i.e., if you don’t get even the majority of MULTIPLE-CHOICE (which already starts you off at a 25% chance of getting it right) experience/scenario questions is that really enough to fail the entire exam)?

  7. I’m in the process of taking this test again for the 4th time! The content changes with each test and to be honest the content on this exam is not really in the study guides nor have I learned through my school most of this. Not sure why I’m struggling but you’re right maybe I shouldn’t be a teacher.

    1. Do not be discouraged. I am taking my GACE in a few minutes and I am 30. It’s been awhile since I had to use any advanced english and mathematical skills. 12 years it has been? Yeah so the likelihood of me forgetting something is pretty high. However I will bust my ass to do my best, it is the same lifestyle I wish for my kids to learn; you may fall down, but get back up. Be a teacher and dismiss people who this one teacher teaching 50 students is smart.

  8. Have you ever asked yourself if the computer that are grading the exams are they wrong. Computers can be wrong and because you all do not go over the papers, you just send out the scores. I say this caused I was placed on suspension once and when I went to registrar office, they said it was not until I showed the my grade and the big stamp on it that said suspensed

  9. I am in the process of taking my the basic skills math Gace. Although I have exceeded in writing and reading, I am having a difficult time passing the math GACE. My school requires a 250 ( which is exceeding) to get accepted into the Education Program. I have failed the Math GACE fours times. They have changed the GACE and lowered the time you have to complete the test. Although the title is Basic Skills, The test itself is not basic at all. the test changes everytime you take it. My opinion is that a test does not measure whether your smart or whether you will make a great teacher or not. According to some of my educations classes, test do not measure everything. There are many things to take into account like test anxiety. Yes, its a real condition. Everything I have done since middle school has lead up to this moment where I begin the process of becoming a teacher. Those of you who have failed the test I say KEEP GOING! So what! if it takes you more tries than others. who says your not learning anything? your learning plenty.

    1. Deborah, I understand your frustration and pain. I was hired then told at the last minute by the county my masters degree in public administration would not exempt me from the GACE Admissions. I specifically asked Georgia Professional Standards Commission what is the process and they gave me step by step directions to get a provisional teaching license. I passed my early childhood education exam in April. I was never told of the changes that were made requiring the GACE Admissions Test being required even if you have a masters degree. I was not informed until I was hired and my principal could not assign my name for the job selection after my job interview. I was asked by the county to get documentation from GaPSC to confirm the exemption my masters degree would allow me to not take the exam and they sent me an email confirming my exemption due to my masters degree. I provided that email to human resources, went through orientation, signed my contract, and even at the end of the orientation I went and asked to confirm I did not need to take the admission test. Human resources told me I did not because I provided the documentation from GaPSC and my application was being sent to GaPSC before the July 1st deadline. Two weeks before my start date I received a call from human resources stating I need to take the exam because they did not put my start date effective July 1, 2015 on the contract. This I also pointed out to the certification director at the end of the orientation. Keep in mind at this point I have already passed the early childhood exam I & II and Middle Grade Social Science Exam. I had approximately two weeks to study for this 5 hour exam. I passed the reading and math portion of the exam but failed the writing portion. I was stunned because I thought the math portion was the most challenging.I received an email from GACE yesterday evening of my scores for the writing portion and will have to meet with DCSD HR to discuss what my options are. I have scheduled to retake the test but have no idea if I will be fired next week. The absolute worst feeling in the world but I will press on. This exam does not identify if a person has the potential to be a good teacher.

  10. Well, I have read most of the comments. I took the old GACE middle school math test. I have been thinking about taking the new one. How is it? Does anyone know?

  11. Hello All,

    Well..interesting comments and replies. To begin with, grace rules the day here. No need for disparaging or corrosive remarks in disagreement. We are professionals after all.

    1st. I have a doctorate in Education. It took me more than 6 years to accomplish. Daunting and challenging to stay the course for a degree that will yield a less-than desirable return in pay, right? After all, we teach because we love to teach not because we will be able to afford to buy all that life affords. I’ve spent more than 40 years teaching and have accomplished a “Master Instructor” certification in aviation education. Not an easy task reserved for a select few.
    2nd. I hold two Master’s degrees. One in Business and the other Technical Management
    3rd. I have more than 35 years of practical development and consulting experience in education and training. Been there – done that….

    I mention this not to elude to my “brilliance” but to highlight that even people with HUGE practical experience in the real world are challenged by poorly designed examinations that do not necessarily reflect quality knowledge and ability. I have designed many tests for many organizations and find the GACE exam poor in many respects. I believe that it is not an accurate reflection of one’s ability or knowledge base. However, there has to be some level of estimating the comprehensive ability of prospective teachers in Georgia and the current system is lacking.

    Interestingly, those who have failed multiple times find that their frustration level rises exponentially with each new exam. Not the scenario preferred when your job is on the line. I too suffer from “test” anxiety. Always have and struggle with accepting testing as an evaluation of my skills and abilities. My doctorate examples that I can learn and that I can be taught! The qualification for achieving a doctorate in education are very difficult comprehensive exams that derive from pedagogical formats. Subjective and subject to individual interpretation. Not the optimum situation for assessing one’s ability in my opinion. However, I passed. To that point, I found the GACE exam (Organizational Leadership) MUCH more difficult.

    If my credibility and experience do nothing more than speak for my ability to learn, then my performance must speak for my educational accomplishments. Taking the GACE exam reflects a poor opportunity to evaluate me individually and reflects nothing about my ability and demonstrated performance. Shame, I may lose a low-paying teaching position because of it. But again, it’s not because of the pay that I teach is it?

    As for the news media…to h— with them. They rank even lower in the education scale of people paid as whiners. After all, a degree in journalism…please! I’ll take even a “poor” teacher any day. They’ve highlighted nothing and should be excused for wasting the time of dedicated and caring people who care about your children. Even if the system is lacking qualified people, there is no better place on the planet to teach and be taught. Teaching starts with character and authority then relies on ability and skill to administer. Even teachers need to be taught. In aviation, the “pilot certificate” is just the license to be taught how to fly just like a driver’s license is the “vehicle” to be taught driving skills. A degree in teaching is formative and foundational to the skill of teaching. No test can effectively reflect the skill as a teacher and ability as a role model for your children.

    Charge on, test again if permissible and kudos to you for valiant efforts to pass the exam again. Do your best and never stop trying to improve. If you fail then you have learned one more area to improve on. If I had given up on the doctorate I could have quit the FIRST WEEK / the FIRST EXAM of the program seven years ago! Today I am “somebody” / a teacher because I never quit no matter what and there are a great many people grateful for my efforts. All of whom who have benefited from my determination and expressed their appreciation as a role model, leader and teacher.

    No one is perfect out of the gate but everyone is improved upon with time and experience and opportunity.

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