Courts on high-stakes tests: They “eradicate” “insidious” “racism”

High stakes test continue to have the harshest effects on students of color and the economically disadvantaged.

Cloaking Inequity

It has been common knowledge for a long time that high-stakes tests have a disparate impact on students of color. What is interesting about high-stakes testing is that proponents recently reframed the gap in the NCLB-era from discriminatory to instead being about “Civil Rights.” I wrote in the post Segregation Nation: Recap and video from visit to @MSNBC @MHPshow:

Now we talk about tests not as purposeful discrimination and sorting of students, but that the “achievement gap” is a Civil Rights issue. The purposeful sorting and discriminatory design has been pushed to the side by “reformers.”


The disparate impact high-stakes tests were challenged in Florida in the US Supereme Court Case Debra P. v. Turlington. We wrote about Debra P. in a peer-reviewed article published in the Journal of School Leadership entitled High Stakes Decisions: The Legal Landscape of High School Exit Exams and the Implications for Schools and Leaders.

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