By Victor Skinner

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new report is highlighting a reality of the D.C. public school system that most students and parents are already painfully aware of: Many teachers in the district aren’t prepared to teach.

bookguyThe National Council on Teacher Quality recently released a report that shows D.C. teachers are unprepared and it’s contributing to poor student performance and pathetic graduation rates, reports.

The problem is the D.C. school system doesn’t consider how selective teacher colleges are about the students they accept. Many crank out graduates who are not qualified for the profession, yet they manage to get jobs in D.C. schools anyway.

Many also don’t have an enough student teaching before they’re given their own classrooms, according to the report.

“We recommend that they strive for the top 50% of the collage going population and we don’t see any policies toward that in D.C.,” Sandi Jacobs, vice president of the D.C.-based research group, told

The problems in D.C., however, aren’t unique.

“The report evaluated all 50 states for their teacher preparedness policies and found that, overall, U.S. state policies are inadequate to ensure teachers are prepared for the classroom,” the news site reports.

The findings lend even more credence to a recent call by education reformers – and surprisingly the American Federation of Teachers union – to incorporate a teaching exam similar to the bar for aspiring attorneys.

We believe that such an exam would be a good first step toward forcing teacher colleges to make sure their graduates are prepared for the classroom. It would also be a good first step away from the outdated unionized model that treats all educators the same, regardless of their abilities.

A teacher bar exam would quickly expose the best teachers and weed out the worst – so school districts can ensure they’re getting the best value for their tax dollars and students are getting the education they deserve.

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