Last week, the New York Daily News recounted the sordid tale of Wayne Brightly, a Bronx teacher who paid a homeless man, Rubin Leitner, to take his state-mandated subject matter exam.
There are a few appalling aspects of this story. Most obvious to the policy-minded is the troubling fact that Brightly had been teaching history for thirteen years without having passed the test. States that let teachers off the hook for that long ought not to bother having a licensing test; either it matters or it doesn't. Second, Brightly reportedly bullied the poor man- who has a master's degree- into taking the test, and only paid him two dollars.
What will become of Rubin Leitner, we wonder? One seventh grader at Brightly's school said, "The homeless man needs to be the teacher."