United Congregations of Metro East (UCM) has addressed issues with the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP). Teachers are one of our country's most valuable assets. The education field needs individuals who have the capacity to, not only master the class materials, but to relate to students. The teaching profession is missing out on some incredible individuals because they are not passing the TAP, which is required to enter teacher preparation programs.
The successful completion of the TAP does not allow you to enter the teacher program, it just allows you to enter the teacher preparation programs. We think that the minimum score requirements are unnecessarily high.
We have diligently worked to remove this burdensome state standardized test that inhibited people, specifically minorities, form participations in teaching programs in state universities exacerbating the current teacher shortage.
UCM supports the quote by Dr. James Rosburg: "We must not forget that there is an art in effective teaching. Sometimes our most impactful teachers have not been good test takers but understand the art of teaching."
UCM will continue in fighting for educational equity in the Metro-East by addressing the teacher shortages and racial diversity in our school districts, by it's continuous quest to break the school to prison pipeline, and joining forces with the Rise189 Campaign to create greater transparency and parent/student involvement in the East St. Louis Schools.
Our persistence has resulted in getting the East St. Louis school board to start streaming board meetings so that parents and the community can have greater transparency and insight into the workings of the district.