Jamaal Bowman, principal of the intriguingly named Cornerstone Academy for Social Action, wrote in blog entry back in late August that standardized testing “is a form of modern-day slavery, and it is designed to continue the proliferation of inequality.”
“America was born of horror for black people and that horror continues today for brown and poor people as well. Slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, crack cocaine and now standardized testing were all sanctioned by the American government. All designed to destroy the mind, body and soul of black and brown people,” he added.
Bowman continued, saying the US government is continuing its “legacy of oppression” with programs like Race to the Top.
“From the Continental Congress to Race to the Top, America has a tradition of disenfranchising the masses,” he said in an Oct. 4 post on the personal blog.
The founding principal of the Eastchester middle school, Bowman has emerged as an outspoken critic of Common Core testing and recently testified before a task force formed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to probe the standards.
But supporters of standardizing testing blasted Bowman’s comments as utter nonsense.
Former US Education Secretary Rod Paige, who grew up in segregated Mississippi and, like Bowman, is black, said it was wrong to inject slavery into the discussion.
“I disagree with him completely,” Paige told The Post. “I’m disappointed the discussion is turning ugly. We’re better people than that.”
As education secretary under President George W. Bush, Paige implemented the No Child Left Behind program that required testing in grades 3 through 8.
Bowman has a point in that, currently, the emphasis on standardized tests for a variety of measures has gotten out of hand.
But obviously his hyperbole is, shall we say, in a “Race for Over The Top.”