A 'Bar Exam' For Teachers?

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AFT President Randi Weingarten at the Washington Teachers Union Rally for Respect in 2009.

Image used under Creative Commons from Flickr user mar is sea Y

A 'Bar Exam' For Teachers?

One of the country's largest teachers' unions, the AFT, is proposing rigorous new credentials for teachers, similar to the bar exam for lawyers. We explore this and other education reform issues with Randi Weingarten, head of the AFT.

One of the country's largest teachers' unions is proposing rigorous new credentials for teachers, similar to the bar exam for lawyers. The American Federation of Teachers, or AFT, also supports the National Common Core State Standards, educational standards in English and math adopted by 46 states so far. We explore how organized labor is approaching education reform issues.

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Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, discussed the group's proposal to require incoming teachers to pass a rigorous bar-like certification exam. The training program would include a classroom practicum as well as a paper-and-pencil subject test. States could choose to adopt the national standards and offer reciprocity to out-of-state teachers, similar to the law profession. "We are trying to do the work you have to do to make a real profession so that there are high standards, that people are really prepared to meet those standards, and they get the tools and conditions they need," Weingarten said.

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.