Suit Over Test of Teachers' Skills

For those prospective black, Latino and Asian-American teachers who feel discriminated against by the California Basic Educational Skills Test's assay of their fundamental knowledge of the "three Rs," consider how absurd it would be if the 20% of Anglos who fail this examination cried foul on the grounds that it discriminates against whites.

The fact is that the CBEST discriminates against only one quality, incompetence, and it does so with no regard whatsoever for gender, sexual orientation, race, color or creed. When it comes to lowering the standards for excellence at the teacher level, there should be no preferential status for anyone. To do so would not only do a disservice to our students, it would be an affront to the many supremely qualified minority teachers in our educational system who earned their credentials through their own successful education, not as a consequence of some patronizing, misguided legal process.

DAVID STOUGHTON

Santa Monica

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