“I should never be made to feel that being bilingual was a deficit in the first place.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez falsely claimed to a public education group on Saturday that she received a score in the “99th percentile” on a “high-stakes” standardized test, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
While speaking at an “Education Town Hall” in New York City, Ocasio-Cortez, whose first language is Spanish, told the assembled crowd that during her childhood, teachers thought she needed “remedial education” because she “spoke two languages instead of one.”
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“This issue is structural and it is systemic which means we need a solution just like with the Green New Deal, we need a solution on the scale of the problem,” she said. “I should never be made to feel that being bilingual was a deficit in the first place.”
The progressive-minded event was organized by Jackson Heights People for Public Schools and centered around discussing the racial and gender biases within standardized testing.
However, after taking a “high-stakes” test, in which she claimed to have scored in the “99th percentile” across the board, teachers realized she did not need the additional assistance.
There’s just one problem with her statement: “High-stakes” tests ranked by percentiles do not exist.
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According to a blog post written by New York University professor and former U.S. assistant secretary of education Diane Ravitch, who was also in attendance at the event, high-stakes tests “used for accountability purposes” don’t rank by percentile and instead “classify students as 1, 2, 3, or 4.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s teacher, wrote Ravitch, “must have given her a no-stakes individual test that produces a percentile ranking for diagnostic purposes.”
“Well, she can’t know everything about everything. None of us do,” Ravitch added.
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