Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) has come under attack for sharing a cartoon suggesting minorities are incapable of excelling at standardized testing.
Bowman, a former middle school principle, shared the political cartoon on Twitter Monday that featured animals in front of a tree. A man sitting behind a desk states, “For a fair selection everybody has to take the same exam: please climb that tree.”
Our education system and the problem with standardized testing. pic.twitter.com/qydTfXgIri
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) March 29, 2021
Bowman’s post has been criticized on social media. “Someone please explain to me how this isn’t the most racist thing they’ve seen on their feeds all day,” Washington Examiner’s Tiana Lowe tweeted.
Someone please explain to me how this isn’t the most racist thing they’ve seen on their feeds all day. https://t.co/bYb0qFrzkd
— Tiana Lowe (@TianaTheFirst) March 31, 2021
The cartoon is not Bowman’s only attack on standardized testing. A Tuesday tweet stated, “Standardized testing is a pillar of systemic racism.”
The posts support Bowman’s past writing that claims, “Decades of research demonstrate that African-American, Latino, and Native American students, as well as students from some Asian groups, experience bias from standardized tests administered from early childhood through college.”
Bowman isn’t alone in his recent attacks against standardized testing.
In 2017, the New York state Board of Regents voted to drop a literacy test for prospective teachers, citing the large percentage of Black and Hispanic candidates who had previously failed the test.
Bowman’s progressive views may draw attention, but do not appear to be widely held. Despite many delays on standardized tests in 2020 due to COVID-19, most schools continue to make plans for traditional testing for the next academic year.