The state of California thinks so. In a 1979 case, Larry P. v. Riles, substantially upheld by (you guessed it) the Ninth Circuit, I.Q. tests were held to be a legitimate tool to be used in assigning students to special education classes … except for black students. Now comes a black mother of five who is incensed that the state refused to give her six year old an I.Q. test. (Link thanks to Kimberly Swygert)
“It’s discrimination, it’s a violation of my son’s civil rights and it’s racism,” Lewis said. “We’re fighting this all the way.”
Lewis doesn’t deny that the test may have been discriminatory toward African-American children in the past. She’s just convinced that the educational playing field is more level today.
“This is closet racism within the school district and the courts,” she said. “Basically they’re saying if you’re black, you’re dumb.”
“Some African-American parents may want their child to take the test, and some may not,” she said. “As a parent, I know what’s best for my child — not the courts or the school district.”
And, adding insult to injury:
Lewis said district officials told her that if she really wanted her son to take the test, she should mark him down as a Caucasian because he is biracial. She refused.