Rep. Bowman Claims Standardized Testing Is Racist

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), the latest member of the “Squad,” this week took at at standardized testing, accusing them of racism.

What he said: The newly-elected House lawmakers offered his take on standardized testing on Tuesday in a tweet. He suggested that these tests are the very foundation of systemic racism in the U.S.

“Standardized testing is a pillar of systemic racism,” he tweeted.

Why? Bowman linked to the National Education Association, the largest teachers union, whose website features a 2018 article that makes a similar assertion.

Titled “The Racist Beginnings of Standardized Testing,” the article claims that students of color and those from low-income families “have suffered the most from high-stakes testing.” The NEA pinpointed the start of standardized testing in the U.S. in 1838, according to its timeline.

“Decades of research demonstrate that African-American, Latino, and Native American students, as well as students from some Asian groups, experience bias from standardized tests administered from early childhood through college,” the piece claims.

“As the U.S. absorbed millions of immigrants from Europe beginning in the 19th century, the day’s leading social scientists, many of them White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, were concerned by the infiltration of non-whites into the nation’s public schools,” the post reads.

“During World War I, standardized tests helped place 1.5 million soldiers in units segregated by race and by test scores. The tests were scientific yet they remained deeply … Army testing during World War I ignited the most rapid expansion of the school testing movement,” the NEA explains.

Bowman has expressed his opposition to standardized testing before.

Worth noting: America is far from being the only country that administers standardized tests in education.

Critics blasted Bowman for his comment. New York Post reporter Jon Levin reported that these tests were created in China.

How we got here: Last month, the Biden administration announced that states will have to resume with federally required standardized testing in schools after a one-year pause. The White House said it will give states flexible options, such as shortening the tests, administering them remotely, or extending the testing window.

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Author: Penka Arsova


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