Intelligence= Social, environmental, reactive, survival?? Broad Construct to define Intelligence and how it is defined\n\n
Moot items were not considered and thrown out\n
Larry P. case- All were African American \n
Are the questions on the assessment biased?\n
Looking at content and do they measure intelligence. Diana....they were looking at language differences in the assessment\n\n
dead end and stigmatizing-per judge\nother people who are in charge of testing and have eliminated items that are gender biased like in the standard binet....why not be made more culturally fair\nalso persuaded that there were other assessments that were not biased...such as school achievement tests\n
Could not test African american children using IQtest to place them in Special education\nReason? to avoid litigation, and so it wont happen again and again and again\n\n
Larry p. v. riles 1979
Larry P. v. Riles:
Overrepresentation & Bias in
Sherwood Best, Ph.D.
495 F. Supp. 926 (1979)
Argued October 11, 1977
Decided October 16, 1979
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.
Test Validity – A statistical term that is
applied to a standardized test to evaluate
whether that test measures what it purports
to measure (intelligence, for example)
Preliminary injunction – An injunction
is a court order that requires a
person or entity to do something or
refrain from taking a particular action.
Moot – Beside the point.
Larry P. attended school in the San
Francisco Unified School District &
was experiencing academic difficulty
in his classes. As per the district
policy at that time, he was assessed
by a school psychologist using the
Stanford Binet Intelligence Test. The
results of this test indicated that Larry
P. had mild mental retardation & he
was subsequently placed in an EMR
Placement into EMR classes began with
referral from general education, followed by
assessment & recommendation by a school
California’s EMR classes of the 1970’s were
designed to teach social & functional skills,
with little alignment with academic curricula.
A disproportionate number of African-
American and Latino students were placed in
A class action lawsuit was brought on behalf
of 5 African-American children challenging the
use of certain IQ tests to place students into
EMR classes. The complaint was filed in
federal district court against:
San Francisco Unified School District
State Superintendent Wilson Riles
Members of the California State Board of
Members of the San Francisco City Board
The district court granted a preliminary
injunction. The defendants appealed & the
appellate court affirmed the district court.
In August 1973 the defendants requested a 3-
judge court to determine if IQ tests were
racially & culturally biased. The district
court rejected this request.
In December 1974 the court expanded the
original injunction to include all African-
American children in MR classes who were
there based on IQ test results.
In January 1975 the defendants
placed a moratorium on all IQ testing for
EMR placements of African-American
In July 1977 the plaintiffs filed an amended
complaint alleging a series of legal
violations. The trial began October 1977 and
concluded March 1978.
Wilson Riles filed an appeal to the Ninth
Circuit. The Chief Judge was Robert F.
Peckham.(appellate court judge for expanded
Were the standardized intelligence (IQ) tests
used in California at that time validated for
the specific purpose used?(looking at
Were African-American students being
labeled as EMR inappropriately &
disproportionately due to IQ testing?
If so, did their placement in EMR classes
If so, were African-American students being
placed improperly and stigmatized by the
IQ tests? 10
The Education of All Handicapped
Children Act (EAHCA) of 1975
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th
Amendment of the US Constitution
The Equal Protection Clause of the
Arguments - Plaintiffs
The IQ tests were biased & the
defendants discriminated against
African-American children by using
The use of IQ tests resulted in
disproportionate placement of African-
American students into EMR classes
that stigmatized them, provided
inadequate education, & limited their
skills.(Equal Protection Violation)
Arguments - Defendants
Statutory requirements approved intelligence
testing for EMR placement.
IQ tests were not unduly relied upon & used
to confirm suspicion.
Stated that predictive validity of IQ tests was
generally known & accepted.
Higher incidence of mental retardation among
African-Americans, attributed to:
IQ tests were used to place African-American
students into EMR classes.
IQ tests were not validated for the specific
The use of the tests had discriminatory effect
on African-American students.
Non-discriminatory assessment mandate of
EAHCA was violated.
Civil Rights Act of 1964 & Rehabilitation Act of
1973 were violated as IQ tests were found to
be discriminatory. 14
Violation of Equal Protection Clause of U.S.
Constitution was not established for Wilson
Riles because he was not in office when the
IQ test policy was adopted.
Violation of Equal Protection Clauses of
California State Constitution was moot as
constitutional claims were not established.
The appellees were not attacking the
constitutionality of of the state statute but the
actions of the state board in complying with
EMR curriculum was not designed to help
children learn the necessary skills to return to
EMR classes were “dead end” & stigmatizing.
The IQ tests did not eliminate cultural bias, as
previous revisions dealt with gender bias.
Alternative, less biased assessments were
Defendants’ position of genetic &
socioeconomic deprivation were untenable.
California school districts were enjoined from
using IQ tests for identification & placement of
African-American children into special
The defendants had to monitor & eliminate
disproportionate placement of African-
American children into special education
All African-American children in EMR classes
at time of decision were to be re-assessed
Implications - Special Education
Increased attention & compliance with
statutes & regulations (EAHCA non-
discriminatory assessment practices).
Development of culture-fair assessment
Reinforced use of multiple assessments.
Reticence to place some children into special
education may be a disservice.
Groups outside the class will challenge
assessment with resulting policy changes.