Former Vice President Joe Biden pledged to end the “standardized tests” of the national public school system if he wins elections in 2020.
Biden said at MSNBC’s Public Education Forum 2020 that he would put an end to standard education by asking each teacher to decide which plan his or her students should follow, after being questioned by an attendee at the event who stated that the tests that evaluate students and schools are “rooted in a history of racism and eugenics.”
“Teaching has changed drastically over the last 10 to 20 years,” the attendee said. “Instead of being allowed to use their expertise to develop engaging curricula that’s culturally responsive, teachers are often forced to use a scripted curriculum that rushes children through without giving them enough time to really understand the material,” she added.
“Given that standardized testing is rooted in a history of racism and eugenics, if you are elected president, will you commit to ending the use of standardizing testing in public schools?” she asked Biden.
“Yes,” Biden replied. “As one of my friends and black pastors I’ve spent a lot of time with, Rev. Herring, would say: You’re preaching to the choir, kid. OK?” he emphasized.
“Because look, that’s why teachers should be able to determine the curricula in their school,” Biden said.
“I’m not being nice. I’m not trying to be nice. There’s some lousy teachers out there, OK? There’s lousy politicians. There’s lousy senators. There’s lousy doctors. I’m not saying every teacher is a great teacher. What I am saying is: You know what it takes to communicate to a child what in fact they need to know.”
It should be noted that some commentators pointed out that Joe Biden said he opposes ‘standardized tests,’ but that he did not explain—nor was he required to do so—the new way in which the federal government would evaluate the work of public schools.
As for his higher education plan, Biden proposed new aid to cover the university expenses of immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as dreamers, people with low incomes and minorities.
He would double the value of Pell Grants, increased teacher salaries and “new money for historically black colleges and universities and for tribal colleges and universities,” CNN said, pointing to a budget of about $750 billion a year.
Like his Democratic rivals, Biden proposes to face the costs that his education policies would cause with new tax increases. In his case, Biden would seek to eliminate certain breaks in inheritance taxes and capping itemized deductions for the wealthiest Americans, the Daily Mail said.
It is worth noting that the results of the Common Core curriculum in Reading and Mathematics, imposed by former President Obama and then Vice President Biden a decade ago on state education systems, yielded “frankly devastating” results, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress 2019 report by the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.
“This country is in a student achievement crisis, and over the past decade it has continued to worsen,” DeVos said, noting that “every American family needs to open The Nation’s Report Card this year and think about what it means for their child and for our country’s future.”