Freshman Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., attacked standardized testing as racist on Tuesday.
Bowman, a new member of the progressive “Squad,” claimed in a tweet that standardized testing is “a pillar of systemic racism.”
Bowman also shared a link to the National Education Association (NEA) website about the “racist beginnings of standardized testing.” The NEA is the nation’s largest teachers union.
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The NEA website lists 1838 as “the beginning” of standardized testing in America in their timeline of the history of said tests.
The NEA page shared by Bowman claims in the first paragraph that “the day’s leading social scientists, many of them White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, were concerned by the infiltration of non-whites into the nation’s public schools.”
Standardized testing is not uniquely American by any means. China holds the oldest recorded use of standardized testing.
Bowman’s attack on standardized testing drew criticism on Twitter.
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“Holding Congressional office is becoming a tool for maximizing your twitter clout instead of vice versa,” wrote documentary filmmaker Leighton Woodhouse.
New York Post reporter Jon Levine pointed out that “standardized testing was developed by the Chinese” millennia ago.
“Standardized testing is actually horrible for a number of reasons but this isn’t one of them,” conservative columnist Matt Walsh wrote. “The Left’s obsession with racializing everything means they’re wrong even [when] they criticize bad stuff.”
In response to Fox News’ request for comment, Bowman’s office pointed to a pair of videos posted to Twitter where the freshman congressman slammed President Biden’s refusal to grant waivers for standardized testing during the COVID-19 pandemic as “wrong.”
“If you have never been an educator, you should not be leading on matters of education in our country,” the freshman Democrat wrote in another tweet pointed to by his office.
“All of the data that they claim they need standardized tests to analyze can be better understood by speaking with the educators in our classrooms.”
Bowman isn’t the first progressive to attack standardized testing.
In 2017, the New York state Board of Regents voted to drop a literacy test for prospective teachers, pointing to the large percentage of Black and Hispanic candidates who were failing the test. The decision to remove the test was met with mixed reviews.
The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) also challenged standardized testing in a program for teachers designed to promote “ethnomathematics” in the classroom.
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The toolkit promoted by ODE claimed that “white supremacy culture” allegedly “infiltrates math classrooms” in different forms, such “the focus” being “getting the ‘right’ answer” and requiring students to “show their work.”
The toolkit added: “Challenge standardized test questions by getting the ‘right’ answer, but justify other answers by unpacking the assumptions that are made in the problem.”
Fox News’ Sam Dorman contributed reporting