Simplifying the Debate on Standardized Testing

John Hanlon

3/9/2009 10:32:08 PM - John Hanlon
Ken Blackwell, former Ohio Secretary of State, has an interesting article about standardized tests up today.

He writes the following:

"The discussion over quality in higher education and maintaining standards of academic excellence in American colleges took an ugly turn March 2nd when Harvard law professor and former Clinton Administration lightning rod Lani Guinier declared that standardized testing is racist.

Guinier’s remarks were part of a televised forum on C-SPAN about the “state of the black union” in America, during which she told moderator Tavis Smiley that standardized testing, such as that used in the college admissions process, is a form of “modern scientific racism.” "


With education reforms being discussed across the country, there should be an ongoing debate about how we can provide the best education for our young people. That debate is not helped, on either side of the aisle, when a public figure (such as Guinier) writes off standardized testing as "racism". There are arguments for and against such testing out there but simplifying the argument to the point of such pointed rhetoric does not do either side much good and it definately does nothing to better the education of students of any age.