After a judge found that the license exams Black and Hispanic former and prospective teachers took violated their civil rights, New York City agreed to pay out a sizable settlement that will include about 5,200 of NYC teachers.
The New York Post reported on Saturday that 225 people who failed the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test, which was used to license teachers between 1994 and 2014, had earned settlements totaling at least $1 million, according to Manhattan federal court records.
This will be a part of the city’s broader $1.8 billion deal, which will be the largest legal settlement ever for New York City.
Four teachers initially brought the complaint in 1996, alleging that the test was “culturally biased” in favor of White applicants.
In contrast to Black candidates, who only passed the multiple-choice and essay tests 53% of the time, more than 90% of White applicants passed, according to the plaintiffs.
Only 50% of Hispanic applicants obtained passing grades. A 2003 trial resulted in a verdict in favor of the city, but a Manhattan federal judge later determined that the licensing exam had violated the applicants’ civil rights.
Effects On Students And Teacher Population
It did not evaluate “general knowledge, teaching skills, or competency in content areas” or forecast “competent job performance.”
Following the judgment, a special master was appointed by the federal government while the city kept up its appeal.
However, by putting aside $1.8 billion for reimbursements in 2018, former mayor Bill de Blasio initiated the settlement process.
Joshua Sohn, the lead attorney, criticized the city for using the test to deny Black and Latino
teachers a fair chance to be considered for teaching positions and for depriving students of the benefit of having a more varied teacher population.
While the verdict was welcomed by instructors, it was criticized for the size of the settlement and the way it diminished the value of the standardized test.