In the US the growing trend to make teachers more accountable for their work has meant it is back to the exam room for some. However, the results in the State of Texas have been embarrassing with over a thousand teachers failing a literacy test.

After failing the reading and writing test these teachers now have to take legal action in order to keep their jobs.

President of the Texas Teachers Association Donna New speaks to Cathal MacCoille about the poor results for teachers. She defends the reputation of teachers in Texas arguing that the failure of 1,000 is a small proportion to the excess of 300,000 educators in the state of Texas. 

99.1% of all educators in Texas passed the test.

New also argues that there are other factors to consider when looking at the results saying that not everybody is good at taking tests. She also points to the fact that the majority of those who failed the test are black, who in general received an inferior level of education where they were segregated in schools that received little funding. As a result of poor primary and secondary education, they graduated from colleges which had lower admission standards. While she acknowledges that teachers must be literate, she also says that there are many other factors at work that can not be measured by a test.

A 'Morning Ireland' report by Cathal MacCoille broadcast on 28 August 1986.