Michigan law mandates that nearly all teachers pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification. The state claims these tests are “criterion referenced and objective based,” but reading through some of the sample questions provided on the MTTC Web site, I wonder how “objective” these tests really are. It’s well known that universities are disproportionately staffed with men and women of the left, but it’s still startling to find blatant ideological bias in state-mandated teacher certification tests.

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See if you can find the underlying ideological assumptions in the following passages from the social studies certification test:

Passage A: Policymakers in industrialized and developing economies today face seemingly similar dilemmas. In both North and South, inequality has apparently increased, even while economies grow. Economic growth has combined greater returns to capital with lesser returns to labor; wages and family incomes of those at the bottom of the income distribution have declined. The once generally accepted nostrum that "a rising tide lifts all boats" has apparently ceased to apply. . . . This view is not universally accepted. Dissenters point to statistical anomalies, measurement uncertainty, atypical nations or long-term trends that may contradict this portrait of growth-within equality. . . . But disputes over details cannot alter the striking uniformity of the main trend. In a wide range of countries, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, while those in the middle, whose perceptions are essential to political and social stability, expect themselves to be, and in fact are, more likely to become poorer than richer.

 Passage B: The world economy has internationalized so rapidly in recent years that many see in it a new quality—"globalization." Paradoxically, instead of pursuing policies of increased international cooperation to cope with globalized markets, the response of many states has been a renationalization of policy through a "competitive devaluation" of domestic social and ecological policies. . . . Naturally, all of us support competition among private firms because it improves performance, products, services and ideas. But a policy of reducing wages, business taxes and environmental standards to attract capital — social dumping — distorts free competition between firms and obstructs the optimal allocation of resources on a global scale. And it results, at the end of the day, in a social deterioration which becomes a liability, not a competitive asset. A state with reduced financial resources is unable to provide for the basic needs of its citizens.