Teachers, who have big clout in the Democratic Party, don’t like standardized testing, a major reason being that it often provides evidence of their ineffectiveness. So Democrats generally support gutting No Child Left Behind, George W. Bush’s education law designed to make sure that children who perform poorly get the help they need. Republicans, who are usually against a federal role in education, are mostly OK with scrapping the law.
But now civil rights groups are arguing that mandatory testing is a matter of civil rights. Poor and minority students have a right to an education, they argue, and mandatory testing identifies the students who need extra help and makes sure school systems don’t ignore them. [Read more...]