This is pretty incredible - even for Massachusetts.
Apparently 75% of teachers seeking accreditation for elementary school in Massachusetts failed the math portion of the test according to this report in the Boston Globe by James Vaznis:
In other words, the questions were not rocket science.
Education leaders said the high failure rate reflects what they feared, that too many elementary classroom and special education teachers do not have a strong background in math and are in many ways responsible for poor student achievement in the subject, even in middle and high schools.
Elementary school teachers, including those in charge of first-grade classrooms, are considered the front line of math instruction, providing the building blocks of computation and mathematical reasoning that students must master before tackling algebra, trigonometry, and calculus later in their academic lives.
Previously, elementary school teachers could potentially receive a state license without answering a single math question correctly on the general curriculum exam. That's because math was folded in with the other subjects - language arts, history, social science, science, and child development - to generate an overall score. Now math is scored separately as a subtest of that exam.
Mitchell Chester, the state's commissioner of elementary and secondary education, said in an interview yesterday that in some ways the high failure rate was not surprising. Only about 27 percent of the more than 600 teaching candidates who took the test in March, the first time it was administrated, passed the exam. The test included questions on geometry, statistics, and probability.
Ed Lasky adds:
As it stands now, by 2020, American companies will be hiring more foreign science and engineering grads than American ones for the simple reason there won't be enough of them to fill the need. A big reason is that math teachers in the lower grades fail to inspire their students to become interested in math and science thus developing generation after generation of scientifically illiterate and math challenged young people.
Concepts of social justice emanating from the likes of Bill Ayers, perhaps? Are teachers unions demanding enough of those in their ranks or those aspiring to join their ranks?
This in a state long considered the epicenter of liberal education-and higher education-in America. Haven't we been told for many years now how important math and its related academic field, science, are to the future course of American prosperity. Why shouldn't education schools that teach people how to become teachers emphasize this type of learning and teaching among their own students?
Is it any wonder global warming is accepted by this generation as gospel when they lack the basic scientific skills to realize that the scientific method is being short circuited by people with a political agenda? Cliff Thier adds:
I bet their math skills are very good when it comes to figuring out percentage salary increases and maximum class sizes.
The big question is how did any of these people graduate high school.
Never mind. Its obvious: their high school math teachers didn't know the right answers either.