The Home School Court Report
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Master Craftsman vs. Mandated Commodity

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A Contrario Sensu

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a contrario sensu
Some ‘Horibal’ Test Results

     Reformers have long tried to make public-school teaching attractive work, but they are far from finding the best and brightest. This spring, Massachusetts tested prospective teachers for the first time on reading and writing skills and on knowledge of their subjects. State education officials declared last week that an astonishing 59 percent of 1,795 college graduates who took the test failed to pass all three parts.
     The results were “painful” for reading and writing tests simpler than those given to high school students, said interim state education commissioner Frank Haydu III. Haydu resigned in the political swirl surrounding the tests. Many applicants wrote sentences that lacked nouns or verbs and included misspellings like “horibal,” “compermise,” and “universel.” The results were particularly troubling because many instructors are nearing retirement age, and 2 million new teachers must be hired nationwide during the next decade.
—Thomas Toch, Copyright, July 13, 1998, U.S. News & World Report