It’s Time To Go Back To The Federal Court System To Protect Minority Students From What We Believe Has Become The Unconstitutional Abuse Of High Stakes Testing

Aug 31, 2003 by

Jimmy Kilpatrick

Knee-jerk and reactionary political conservatives may choose not to admit it.  Without the federal court system’s advancement of the realization of the nation’s founding and noble “intent,” the United States of America would be far less than what it can still become.

Jimmy Kilpatrick

From economic and worker rights to civil rights, it has been the federal court system that ultimately has persevered against the bitter impulses of what was and might still have been today.  On many issues far and wide, the battle over the Supreme Court of the United States is not an inconsequential battle.

The acronyms of intent, deception and realization flow freely in the myth of the Texas Educational Miracle.  Since federal judge William Wayne Justice defined the parameters of the Texas responsibility to minority students in 1971, Texas has lived a continuing lie.

From TABS to TEAMS to TAAS to TAKS, minority children have been pawns in a cynical game of criterion academic testing that has suddenly taken a turn towards punitive, sinister and evil nastiness.  The political leadership of Texas and those who became its supporters and defenders permitted, sanctioned and profited from a collective decision to value symbolism over substance while promoting the former as the later.

We have published over 25 columns presenting the substance of our case.  We will take precious few words to express our own conclusion.

The Texas Educational Miracle never existed.  It was a calculated, well-promoted lie.  It elevated the professional careers of many; the financial bottom-line of individuals and corporations and the political careers of others.  It should serve as a model of deception.

The notion that Texas is a national model that addresses society’s burden to at-risk minority students is morally, ethically, philosophically, academically and constitutionally perverse.

Many have asked us: where do we go from here?  The answer is as basic as the history of civil rights itself – back to the federal courts. calls upon those groups that represent the interests of at-risk minority students to launch a broad-based federal assault on what has become of high stakes testing.  The focal issue should be the failure of public education to make meaningful progress in closure of the academic equity gap between White and at-risk minority students.

In Texas, the initial effort should be to convince a federal court judge (perhaps Wayne Justice himself) to consider the appointment of a master over the Texas Education Agency due to its willful and deliberate efforts to deceive past courts and the public.

We have concluded that the decline of integrity coupled with the economic and political power of those who profit from the appearance of academic progress in the closure equity gap have become virtually unrestrained.

The history of unrestrained power of unethical government is that it can only be checked by the power of the enduring morality of the federal judiciary’s commitment to our founding principles.

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