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NAACP Continues War Against Tests and Education

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On September 29, 2012 @ 11:58 am In The Point | 10 Comments

Education, if there’s anything more racist than that, it’s probably peanut butter or America. Sadly this will undoubtedly work, just as the lawsuit against the New York Fire Department’s racist test-based hiring practices worked.

On Thursday, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund is filing a federal civil rights complaint, challenging the city’s admissions process for eight specialized high schools, including Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech.

“There is a single two-and-a-half hour multiple choice test that is the sole criterion for admissions,” said Rachel Kleinman of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. “So, no matter how good your grades are, no matter what your teachers say about you, you could win the national spelling bee. None of that matters.”

Save us Attorney General Eric Holder, they’re using a “test” as a criteria instead of “what teachers say about you” and how quickly they promoted you to get you out of their class.

Don’t they know that all tests are inherently racist? But why did the NAACP choose Rachel Kleinman to represent its bogus lawsuit, instead of a proud woman of color? I hope they didn’t use some kind of performance based measure of lawyer selection or they might have to sue themselves.

30,000 eighth graders take the Specialized High School exam each year and many prepare extensively, spending weekends and after-school time taking test prep courses.

And although the majority of city students are black or Hispanic, most specialized high school students are Asian or white.

Clearly the test reflects that notorious Asian/White bias.

“African-American and Latino students who are qualified to be in these schools, who have strong indicators of academic merit, are not getting in because they are not doing as well on this test,” Kleinman said.

But the test is the qualifier. How can they be qualified if they aren’t scoring well on the test?

There is no serious case being made here that the test is in way discriminatory. Instead the results of the test are proof of discrimination. So the actual challenge uses an even more bonkers argument.

The complaint, filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights—the agency’s civil rights enforcement arm—alleges that the New York City Department of Education and New York State Department of Education have never conducted a study to determine whether the test is a valid tool; in other words, it cannot ensure that there is any relationship between students’ test results and learning standards in the Specialized High Schools.

Suppose that tests are not indeed valid indicators of student learning standards, does that make them discriminatory?

Jose L. Perez, Associate General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF added, “The New York City and State Departments of Education should follow the trend of other elite high school and colleges throughout the nation that consider multiple factors, including grades, and even geography. At the very least, the Specialized High Schools admissions policy should give all students of a fair chance to demonstrate their academic merit.”

But here’s the thing… a standardized test is as fair as you’re going to get. Grades from different schools are not equivalent. Using geography is silly. If you’re going to have advanced schools, then the students who go to them should be advanced, rather than geographically advanced. Everyone goes into a room with the same test. It’s the most unracist process you can imagine, which is why the advocates of racial preferences are foaming at the mouth over it.

But at least there isn’t a Muslim angle to it. Wait there is…

In addition to the impact on African-American and Latino students, the current policy harms many Asian students, as well.  Monami Maulik, Executive Director of DRUM, said “Low-income South Asian students are also excluded from access to the NYC Specialized Schools.  In particular, thousands of Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and Nepali students are grossly under-represented due to solely test score based admissions that marginalize young people from often under-resourced NYC public schools. Although these students fall under the ‘Asian-American’ category, they are one of many low-income Asian student groups who are not being admitted in any adequate numbers.”

So why are schools with Pakistanis under-resourced as opposed to schools with Chinese in them? Huge numbers of low-income Chinese make it to New York City and get into elite schools. Why can’t Pakistanis do it?

There’s no argument here, just quota arm waving about diversity being our strength. You know what else is our strength? People who can pass tests without whining about it or demanding equal representation based on their race. Oh right, that used to be our strength.

The NAACP’s data shows that American Indians had a 15.7 percent acceptance rate. Asian-Americans had a 35 percent acceptance rate, ahead of whites at only 30.6 percent. Latinos had a 6 percent acceptance rate and blacks had a 5 percent rate.

If this racist test of doom (TM) is truly racist, then why does it seem to favor Asians over whites? Why do Native Americans seem fairly competitive when it comes to this test?

The heteronormative patriarchy of white privilege must really have been working overtime to deliberately exclude blacks and hispanics, while including Asians and Native Americans, but excluding Pakistanis. It’s an impressive achievement.

All the letters demand that New York City’s specialized schools stop looking at the damn test and embrace the entire “constellation” of a child’s activities that don’t depend on him answering questions.

“It is time to move beyond the test and look at the entire scope of a child’s abilities.”

Zakiyah Ansari, New York City mother of eight, Advocacy Director for The Alliance for Quality Education

“It’s time to end the discriminatory use of test scores to determine Specialized High Schools admission. College admissions offices do not rely on standardized exams as the sole factor to select students. Many of the most competitive colleges don’t require applicants to submit test scores at all.”

FairTest Executive Director Monty Neill

“Most selective schools and colleges across the country use multiple criteria, including letters of recommendation,grades, community
service and extracurricular activities, and more in making their admissions decisions.”

Ronnette Summers, parent leader, New York City Coalition for Educational Justice

Who needs to learn anything anyway? Just bring your letters of recommendation and your extracurriculars.


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