SOME Civil Rights groups have demanded more testing, and others have demanded LESS.
The Journey for Justice Alliance (JJA), a group made up of 38 organizations of Black and Brown parents and students in 23 states, wrote Congress an open letter in July asking for an end to high stakes testing. And the JJA wasn’t alone. The alliance was joined by 175 other national and local grassroots community, youth and civil rights organizations who signed on to the letter to “…call on the U.S. Congress to pass an ESEA reauthorization without requiring the regime of oppressive, high stakes, standardized testing and sanctions that have recently been promoted as civil rights provisions within ESEA.”
However, the JJA’s call has been largely ignored by lawmakers and the media. A much smaller coalition of Civil Rights organizations in favor of testing, on the other hand, has been given so much press you’d be excused if you thought they represented the entire activist community.
But then like magic when the political situation changed and reauthorization seemed like it might actually happen, suddenly a coalition of Civil Rights organizations found their love for standardized testing.
It seems highly unlikely that these two events are unrelated.
But why would these organizations change their tune so quickly?
UNCF took more than $1.5 billion from Gates. Ostensibly that money is supposed to go to scholarships. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But how could the organization go against the wishes of perhaps its biggest donor? The consequences could be disastrous for UNCF’s entirely worthy mission.
One can imagine administrators stuck between a rock and a hard place having to compromise their stance against testing in order to continue helping people of color fulfill their dreams of going to college.