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ERIC Number: ED190629
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
Legal Implications of Minimum Competency Testing. Fastback 138.
The legal implications of state-mandated minimum competency testing are assessed. Many state constitutions establish education as an individual's right. Court decisions have required school systems to provide educational services to every child who can benefit from them, implying equality of access to these services. When a minimum competency testing program has the effect of denying an educational benefit, then it can be argued that the testing program denies equality of educational opportunity, violating the Fourteenth Amendment, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Minimum competency testing statutes may violate standards of due process where an educational benefit has been denied and state action is judged to be arbitrary or lacking in fundemental fairness. However, courts have been reluctant to overturn state action where minimal elements of due process have been provided. Provision of clear educational objectives is necessary to establish the relationship between curriculum and the competency standard, but objectives may create a legal duty of care permitting a lawsuit based upon breach of duty to educate. Procedural safeguards for a testing program will vary according to state law, but a number of guidelines are suggested. (GK)
Descriptors: Court Litigation, Due Process, Educational Malpractice, Educational Practices, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Federal Legislation, Legal Problems, Minimum Competency Testing, Policy Formation, Program Implementation, Public Schools, School Responsibility, State Legislation, State Programs
Phi Delta Kappa, Eighth and Union, Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402 ($0.75)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Bloomington, IN.
Identifiers: Civil Rights Act 1964 Title VI; Fourteenth Amendment; Rehabilitation Act of 1973