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    college ESL instructor/mother weighs in

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    Part of the job of school (elementary, secondary, post-secondary, public, private) is to acculturate students so that society has a common foundation on which to build. The LAST thing our kids need is for that to be taken away because of fears of cultural bias in testing.
    Yes, cultural bias IS a problem, but it is one that should be addressed by NORMING our kids to the culture they must compete and survive in, NOT by norming the test to our kids, thereby creating a false sense of accomplishment and success. Eventually these kids have to compete in the professional world which really doesn't care about their socioeconomic or cultural backgrounds. All it cares about is whether an employee can do the job correctly, efficiently and provide a good image.
    I disagree with those who claim that children who have difficulty with drawing conclusions are merely "word-calling". I think that a great many of these children CAN draw conclusions in a culturally unbiased (or biased-in-their-favor) situation. The trick is to find way to test for reading ability and cultural knowledge and then integrate the two into our lessons.

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