Karen Lewis. Standardized testing and the Eugenics movement.

Fred Klonsky

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Karen GJ Lewis is the President of the Chicago Teachers Union and National Board Certified Teacher.

Many people who are convinced that standardized tests are reliable and valid indicators of student learning are not only sadly mistaken, but they are often people who also support policies that harm children, teachers and schools. This is unfortunate for a variety of reasons, the least of which is that unions, think tanks and other entities no longer pursue alternatives—multiple measures. Researchers have pointed out that standardized tests do not cover 70 percent of teachers, but rather than invest in multiple measures, companies respond with a plan to develop more tests.

What many people do not know is that the use of standardized tests has its origins in the Eugenics movement, where basic tenets assert that certain races are inferior to others biologically and intellectually. From our 21st century perspective, we can look back in…

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