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Word Count: 1,141
Are qualified exemplary teachers teaching our children Does the quality of our childrens education meet sufficient standards In Diane Ravitchs article Put Teachers to the Test she answers with a resounding no Her articles primary goal--to put an end to low national teaching standards and requirements--is indeed a noteworthy cause which is similarly felt by many fellow scholars However despite the articles coherency and consistent supporting evidence closer examination of Put Teachers to the Test unfortunately points to a narrow slanted set of supporting data several normative unsubstantiated claims failure to account for the oppositions arguments and lastly a proposition of awkward inappropriate solutions to remedy the matter Because of these faults this article is ultimately a mixed blessing its purpose is commendable to improve the quality of our teachers while conversely the deficiencies within the work place its authors authority in doubt In every reference to case studies each of Ravitchs supporting claims backs her argument yet leaves room for a disputable interpretation In her opening paragraph she refers to a New York district where nearly three-quarters of English teacher applicants performed below par on a required examination for the job Though this case is quite pertinent the author fails to include the frequency of such events Thus one cannot merely assume that such poor applicant performance is common or that it has ever occurred elsewhere Ravitchs statistical references can again be debated when she discusses percentages of out-of-field teachers in various subjects Ravitch claims that 34 of mathematics teachers and 25 of English teachers are teaching out-of-field Ravitch 1 Assuming that these numbers are accurate Ravitch fails to cite this finding opposition may note that the vast majority teaching these subjects are teaching in their own field of expertise History or social science the only subject discussed where out-of-field teachers comprise the national majority may be a fluke Though 55 of history teachers instructing out of field is a frightening statistic it may
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