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NASP Home NASP Publications School Psychology Review (SPR) Volume 9 Issue 2 (1980) Intelligence Tests on Trial
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Volume 9, Issue 2 (1980)

Intelligence Tests on Trial

pp. 149—153

This article addresses the question of how it came to be that intelligence tests were put on trial. The answer to this question given in this article is that the courts had to weigh the validity of intelligence tests once California chose to rely upon intelligence tests to justify the large numbers of black children in classes for the educable mentally retarded (“E.M.R. classes”). In Larry P. the plaintiffs alleged that the California school system was discriminating against black children by placing a disproportionate number of black children into E.M.R. classes. The State responded to this charge by asserting that these placements were proper. In order to justify the placements the State argued that intelligence tests proved that these placements were proper. Given the State’s reliance upon intelligence tests to justify the large number of black children in E.M.R. classes, the court was forced to examine the strength of the State claim that intelligence tests proved that the State was not discriminating against black children.

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