ACLU to File New Lawsuit over Standardized Testing

Sep 16, 2013

The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union plans to announce yet another lawsuit in its ongoing battle over high-stakes testing.

Critics of a state policy tying high school diplomas to test scores point out that 4,000 seniors are at risk of not graduating, and they are overwhelmingly,  minority and low-income students, along with students with disabilities. However, state officials have been standing firm, arguing that students have multiple opportunities to show improvement on the test and earn a diploma.

The ACLU has already sued twice over the policy. One lawsuit, alleging the State Board of Education violated the open meetings act by planning a closed retreat, resulted in a judicial order to allow the public into the session on standardized testing.

Earlier, The ACLU sued the board for failing to respond to a petition asking it to re-consider the testing policy. The board recently decided to deny the petition in a close vote, but the ACLU criticized the board for holding a closed door session prior to the vote. State officials say the private session was legal because the board was discussing the ACLU's lawsuit over the petition.