The War on Merit, Teacher Edition

The City of New York has agreed to pay $1.8 billion to would-be teachers who failed the state’s teacher qualification exam between 1994 and 2014:

Roughly 5,200 black and Hispanic ex-Big Apple teachers and once-aspiring educators are expected to collect more than $1.8 billion in judgments after the city stopped fighting a nearly three-decade federal discrimination lawsuit that found a certification exam was biased.
Court rulings found the exam violated civil-rights laws, allowing far more white candidates to pass.

Presumably this was a “disparate impact” case, meaning that the evidence the test was biased was the fact that more whites passed it than blacks. Alternative explanations are inadmissible.

Herman Grim, 64, of Queens, on July 5 was awarded the biggest judgment to date — a jaw-dropping $2,055,383.

It includes $1,583,114 in back pay for time never clocked, lost interest accrued, and other compensation.
Grim said he’s in disbelief but the money can’t come fast enough because he’s racked up serious debt on his Queens home and credit cards.

He couldn’t recite examples of why the test was biased.

Presumably these people have been doing something else for a living all these years, so now they will be paid twice. And that isn’t all:

But the cost to taxpayers is expected to be significantly higher because they’ll also be footing the bill for many of the plaintiffs to collect pension checks based on time never worked after they reach retirement age, plus their health insurance.

That is what the city gets for trying to have qualified teachers instructing its children.

One Brooklyn principal said the city was “crazy” to settle the case.

“The standards are the standards,” he said. “It shouldn’t be based on what would be easy for blacks or whites. To hire people who are not qualified and change the requirements because a certain group didn‘t pass the test is bulls–t.”

Yes, but it is bulls–t in which we are now knee-deep. Perhaps the Supreme Court will do something about it someday.

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