The Outrage of Jailing Atlanta Black Educators

Apr 16, 2015

Posted in CommentaryEducation/Schools/YouthEqual Rights/Equity

By Kitty Kelly Epstein

Dr. Kitty Kelly Epstein

The jailing of seven Black Atlanta educators is an outrage matched only by the racist tests they were forced to give and the racist conditions in which many of their students are forced to live.

Five facts to consider when drawing conclusions about these educators:

1. The standardized testing process that these and other U.S. teachers are forced to participate in was created by a member of the Eugenics movement, Lewis Terman, who first used it to track Black and Latino and immigrant children into low-track classes in Oakland (1920).

Who is going to jail for continuing to give tests that produce exactly the same results Terma created them to produce?

2. There have been accusations and investigations for test cheating in cities across the country. In no other city were the teachers mostly Black.

In none of those cities was anyone sent to jail.

3. U.S. education policy encourages shutting down schools based on their test scores. Since test scores are correlated with family wealth, the schools shut down are almost always in Black and Latino neighborhoods, leaving the neighborhood without a school and the families with transportation problems for their children.

Who is going to jail for that?

4. The racial wealth gap between the median White family and the median Black family is 20 to 1. Who’s going to jail for the mortgage crisis, the redlining, the biased employment practices, and the residuals of slavery, which produced that number.

5. Across the South 38,000 Black teachers lost their jobs with the beginning of desegregation because the white school districts would not allow Black teachers to teach their children, and the Educational Testing Service assisted with this outrage by offering to use the practice of testing teachers.

Anyone get jail time for that?

We know the answer.

Do I think teachers should change test papers? No.

What we should do is stop giving these expensive, biased, harmful tests.