30-year case closed in Alabama

See all posts

Alabama has officially ended the 30-year-old dispute over charges that its teacher licensing test discriminated against black teachers.

Back in 1981, Alabama State University, a historically black university, along with some of its students, sued the state's school board over what were newly developed subject-matter teacher licensure tests. The tests showed a 5 percent point differential between races based on failure rates--a disparity that can be found in all tests actually--but the state agreed to get rid of the test.

Accordingly, for the next 20 years Alabama's teachers did not have to take certification tests. It wasn't until 2006 that the state began using subject-matter testing again, under federal pressure, and elected to adopt the Praxis II subject-matter tests.

In January of this year, with no challenges filed against the Praxis II tests since their adoption, an Alabama judge officially dismissed the case.