Should there be a bar exam for teachers?

Eager law school graduates are tasked with taking the dreaded bar exam before they practice law, says What do you suppose would happen if there was a similar test for teachers? Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), was the first to propose this idea at the Aspen Ideas Festival in June. Weingarten, who strives to help the teacher labor unions in her charge, suggested the bar exam in part as a way to help counter the impression that unions protect failing teachers. Her suggestion has made many people consider whether such an exam would be the best way to increase teaching standards and further legitimatize the profession. Others, however, feel a bar exam is just a public relations stunt that would be unlikely to make any difference in real reform. As it stands right now, a person who wants to teach in public schools must fulfill certain state teaching credentials and pass a state certification after receiving a bachelor’s degree…

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