Diana v. state board of education 1970


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  • Diana v. state board of education 1970

    1. 1. Diana v. State Board ofEducation: Assessing ChildrenWho are Linguistically Diverse Sherwood Best, Ph.D. Professor CSULA 1
    2. 2. • It has been argued that standardized testing has functioned as a method of social control• Most cases have been based on the specific circumstances of the case (ability tracking, placement in special education, test disclosure, etc.) 2
    3. 3. Diana v.State Board of Education (1970) 3
    4. 4. Terms• EMR – Educably Mentally Retarded. A term used by school districts to assign students with IQ scores in the borderland- mild range to special classes. Not a federal category. 4
    5. 5. Background• Diana attended school in the Soledad Unified School District in central California. She experienced academic difficulty in his classes. As per the district policy at that time, she was assessed by a school psychologist using the Stanford Binet Intelligence Test. The results of this test indicated that Diane had mild mental retardation & she was subsequently placed in an EMR class. 5
    6. 6. Background• Placement into EMR classes began with referral from general education, followed by assessment & recommendation by a school psychologist.• California’s EMR classes of the 1970’s were designed to teach social & functional skills, with little alignment with academic curricula. 6
    7. 7. Background• A class action lawsuit was brought on behalf of 9 Mexican-American children, ages 8-13, challenging the use of certain IQ tests to place students into EMR classes. The complaint was filed in federal district court against: – Soledad Unified School District – State Superintendent Wilson Riles – Members of the California State Board of Education 7
    8. 8. Issues• Were Mexican-American students being labeled as EMR based on individualized IQ tests written & administered in English?• If so, did their placement in EMR classes constitute discrimination?• Were the 14th Amendment rights of the Mexican- American students violated? 8
    9. 9. Applicable Law• The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution 9
    10. 10. Arguments - Plaintiffs• The children were unable to comprehend the materials on the test for no other reason than language difference; low IQ scores were not a valid measure of their intelligence. 10
    11. 11. Arguments - Defendants• Statutory requirements approved intelligence testing for EMR placement.• All other children were so tested for EMR placement consideration, so there was no equal protection violation. 11
    12. 12. Holding• Violation of Equal Protection Clause of U.S. Constitution was established in that the children were not afforded equal protection if they could not comprehend the test materials.• The case was settled by consent decree. 12
    13. 13. Dictum• When allowed to take an IQ test in Spanish, Mexican-American gained an average of 15 IQ points (one standard deviation) 13
    14. 14. Court’s Orders• Stipulations of the consent decree: – Children whose primary language was not English were to be tested in their primary language in addition to English – Mexican-American and Chinese-American children in EMR classes were to be re-tested – LEAs had to submit a plan for assisting for re-entry of EMR students back into general education. – LEAs must explain disproportionate representation of Mexican-American children in special education – Re-norming of assessments undertaken 14
    15. 15. California’s Legislative Response• California responded to Diana by enacting legislation in which test scores used for placement be substantiated through an evaluation of the child’s developmental history, cultural background, and academic achievement 15
    16. 16. Implications - Special Education• Elimination of the IQ test as the sole measure of assessment for special education placement• EAHCA mandate of non-discriminatory assessment.• Increased focus on special needs children who are culturally/linguistically diverse. 16