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Tue Nov 13, 2012, 07:50 AM

Civil Rights Orgs File Complaint Over New York’s High Stakes Tests


from In These Times:


Civil Rights Orgs File Complaint Over New York’s High Stakes Tests
By Michelle Chen


Every year, New York City middle-schoolers subject themselves to a grueling academic ritual that could make or break their educational futures, or so they’re told. The 2.5-hour multiple-choice Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) serves as the sole gateway to a suite of elite public schools—particularly Bronx Science, Stuyvesant and Brooklyn Technical. The kids who make the cut tend to be disproportionately Asian and white; Latino and black students are vastly underrepresented.

Civil rights groups are now waging a legal challenge accusing New York City’s education authorities of tying the elite tier of schools to an arbitrary test that effectively perpetuates inequality. The complaint was filed by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, LatinoJustice PRLDEF and the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College on behalf of a coalition of civil rights and community groups.

The backdrop to the legal controversy is a growing rebellion against high-stakes standardized tests, which some say perpetuate racial and socioeconomic equity in urban schools. The SHSAT is separate from the state's standardized test system (which is designed to comply with federal education reforms), but, as a gatekeeper to educational opportunity, raises similar concerns.

The test, which civil rights advocates point out lacks a solid empirical basis, tracks underlying, deeply intertwined educational barriers of class and race. Kids living in poverty tend not to have the same access to either the private test preparation courses or the school environments that train students to score well on the math and verbal sections of the SHSAT. ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/14155/high_stakes_and_deep_inequalities_new_york_teachers_challenge_testing_regim/



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Reply Civil Rights Orgs File Complaint Over New York’s High Stakes Tests (Original post)
marmar Nov 2012 OP
iemitsu Nov 2012 #1
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #3
bemildred Nov 2012 #2
Macoy51 Nov 2012 #4
bemildred Nov 2012 #5
midnight Nov 2012 #7
bemildred Nov 2012 #8
yurbud Nov 2012 #6

Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:03 AM

1. Charter schools, leading the movement to re-segregate schools.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:09 AM

3. NYC has had specialty schools well before charters

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:09 AM

2. High stakes testing is discriminatory. nt

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Response to bemildred (Reply #2)


Response to Macoy51 (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:58 AM

5. And that is racist twaddle.

Some Asians score high, some do not.

What correlates highest with "academic performance" is the socio-economic background of the parents, which means kids that are well cared for and well-taught do better. Duh. So such testing ipso facto discriminates against all children who are handicapped by their parents failings.

But more to the point I was making, what is discriminatory is to test and grade and pigeonhole all children at some particular age. Children develop best according to their own schedules, tastes, and ambitions, not according to externally dictated "standards", and in a genuinely democratic and egalitarian society such dogmatic crap would not be allowed.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 07:30 PM

7. I agree with your thoughtful insight about how children do best... All our children deserve

schools that foster this kind of thinking...

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Response to midnight (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 09:28 PM

8. Thank you, it comes from my own experience.

Perhaps I ought not be so hard on Macoy51, but it does get me upset, all this judgement applied to children, the grading and sorting, like they were things, products.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 11:07 AM

6. A standardized test called SHAT sounds like truth in advertising

corporate education reformers shat on our kids.

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