Herman Grim, a 64-year-old man on the verge of retirement, is set to become a wealthy individual. While most Americans his age contemplate their next steps after leaving the workforce, Grim is about to receive $2,055,383. Interestingly, Grim did not earn this money through hard work or success; quite the opposite, in fact.
Meet Herman Grim, who was just awarded $2,055,383 from New York State.
Why? Because black people failed an objective test called the National Teacher Examination more often than other races.
Mr. Grim failed "many times". As he's interviewed, his smoke detector chirps 3 times. pic.twitter.com/MzvVSDvTER
— Jeremy Kauffman 🦔 (@jeremykauffman) July 18, 2023
All he had to do was fail repeatedly — a task at which he excelled. Grim was among approximately 5,200 individuals who attempted the New York City teachers exam but never managed to pass despite multiple attempts and even tutoring. His inability to succeed was not a personal shortcoming, but rather a symptom of a larger issue: racism.
Some might argue that Grim simply lacked the aptitude or intellect to be a teacher, but the truth, according to his lawyers, lies in “systemic discrimination.” Seizing the opportunity, attorneys filed a class action lawsuit, asserting that the exam itself was discriminatory.
The case concluded with a substantial settlement of $1.8 billion, agreed upon by New York City just before the end of former Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s term. This payout stands as the largest settlement in the city’s history, with Grim being the recipient of the largest sum due to his extensive history of failures.
The lawsuit argued the test had discriminatory effects, as a disproportionately low percentage of Black and Latino candidates were successful compared to their white counterparts. Only 53 percent of Black applicants and 50 percent of Latino applicants passed, while an overwhelming 90 percent of White applicants succeeded.
In a controversial ruling, federal court judge Kimba Woods declared that requiring aspiring teachers to pass a Liberal Arts and Sciences Test violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Judge Woods argued the exam was not an accurate indicator of teaching ability, thus deeming it discriminatory.
It is crucial to note that Grim’s pursuit was not for a job in sanitation, bricklaying, or graffiti removal; he sought to educate and shape the minds of future generations. A mere two minutes of listening to Grim speak clearly indicates he is ill-suited for the classroom and the responsibility it entails.
While some see the settlement as a testament to the flaws in the New York City teachers exam, it also raises questions about the system’s capacity to identify and select qualified educators. In the end, Grim’s financial gain might be beneficial for the few, but it highlights the challenges faced in ensuring a fair and competent education system that impacts the many.