Union calls for teacher certification exam

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WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the nation's largest teachers unions is proposing a stringent exam teachers would have to pass before entering the profession, much like the bar exam for lawyers.

The American Federation of Teachers says in a new report that such an exam would raise the benchmark for teachers. It's calling on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to take the lead in creating the exam.

AFT President Randi Weingarten says too many teachers are thrown into the classroom before they're ready. She says that's unfair to students and teachers.

To pass the written exam, teachers would also need a minimum grade point average and at least one year of successful student teaching.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan is commending the proposal. He says the U.S. shouldn't tolerate having unprepared teachers.

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