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December 5th, 2012
12:38 PM ET

AFT President Randi Weingarten on the proposed 'bar' exam for new teachers

In order to become a lawyer you have to pass the bar and in order to become a doctor you have to take a medical licensing exam – but what about teachers? A new report, released by the American Federation of Teachers, is recommending that new teachers should have to pass their own equivalent of a bar exam before stepping into a classroom. This morning, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten joins “Starting Point” to discuss the reasons behind the suggestion that teachers be required to take a standardized test.

Weingarten says, “When you look at the countries that out-compete us they spend a lot of time preparing teachers.” The AFT president adds that, “Finland prepares teachers like we prepare doctors.” When it comes to teaching Weingarten says, “experience matters a need to have a body of knowledge and some clinical experience to do what we consider the most important job in America.”

Weingarten explains the report recommends that standards be governed by educators because there is currently “too much control in education by testing companies and by testing as opposed to what the profession thinks is important.” She adds educators should be able to control their own profession just like people in the fields of medicine, law and engineering are, “controlled by the profession.”

Filed under: Education
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