By Glenn Collins
Thursday, February 4, 2010 | 3:54 PM
On December 15, 1981, Allen v. Alabama Board of Education was filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, contesting that the Alabama Initial Teacher Certification Testing program was racially biased. Since that time, numerous attempts have been made to make sure all teacher testing in the state of Alabama is valid, job related, and unbiased. After almost three decades of litigation, consent decrees, court orders, monitoring, and redeveloping of the teacher certification testing program, an order has been issued terminating the law suit.
Gary Warren, of Haleyville, District VII member of the Alabama State Board of Education, said "It's been very time-consuming and very expensive, and I'm very glad it's over."
"Itís a monumental day in our state's history," said State Superintendent of Education Joe Morton. "I want the public of Alabama to understand the milestone of this event." Dr. Morton added that this makes way for education to move forward with a certainty that Alabama's children are receiving the quality instruction they deserve. "The public expects us, as leaders in education, to do all that we can to make sure students get the best education possible," he said. "The Praxis II test is in place to ensure that teachers in the classroom have the knowledge necessary to teach." Morton added that although the process of getting to this point has been difficult, the result is a teacher testing model that can be used by the rest of the nation as battle-tested, unbiased example of teacher preparation and certification.
In April of 2005, still operating under the federal court order, the Board of Education adopted the Praxis II test as a prerequisite for teacher certification. Final minimum passing scores were adopted by the Department of Education in June, 2007. The plaintiffs had until January 22, 2010, to object and they did not. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson signed the final order for dismissal on January 27, 2010.