Local News

Education Board Adopts Teacher Skills Tests

Posted November 6, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— When you send your children to school you assume they're being taught by teachers who know basic skills. The state board of education met Thursday and decided that teachers at low performing schools should take basic skills tests.

Those teachers at will soon have toprovethey know their stuff. The board of education met to consider making teachers take basic skills tests in reading, writing and math.

Under that proposal, teachers at the 15 worst schools will have to take the test next spring.

There was little fanfare when the proposal was adopted Wednesday morning, despite the fact that many educators are unhappy with the testing plan. Joyce Elliott is president of the North Carolina Association of Teachers. She says teachers are qualified by their own education. They shouldn't have to be tested again.

The North Carolina General Assembly called for the testing plan. The board of education is mandated to carry it out. Board Deputy Superintendent Richard Thompson says teachers will have three chances to pass the test.

Some educators say they're insulted at the possibility of having to take the test.

Kathy Brown has been teaching for more than twenty years.She works at Youngsville Elementary School one of the best in the state in terms of academic growth.

Under the new law, Brown would not have to be tested, but she says she thinks basic skills tesing is a good idea for all educators.

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The board is adopting a test that has been used successfully in California.

Most educators agree that one of the keys to good schools is parental involvement. Now, parents of Wake County public school children will get their chance to tell administrators what they think of the school system.

Next week, the schools will start sending questionnaires home with students. The school system conducts these parent surveys every other year. The results help guide decisions about policy and the direction the schools should take in the future.

The surveys need to be returned by November 25. Results are expected in January.

Photographer:Lori Foushee