ERIC Number: EJ1090013
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 73
Science, Politics, and Best Practice: 35 Years after Larry P.
Frisby, Craig L.; Henry, Betty
Contemporary School Psychology, v20 n1 p46-62 Mar 2016
A little over 35 years have passed since the original "Larry P." decision was handed down in 1979 by Robert Peckham, a federal judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California. The "Larry P. case" is a shorthand moniker that refers to a class action lawsuit, supported by the Bay Area Association of Black Psychologists, on behalf of African-American students who are overrepresented in (what were called at that time) Educable Mentally Retarded (EMR) classes in the San Francisco School District. Judge Peckham ruled that standardized individually administered IQ tests used to classify African-American students into EMR programs are culturally biased and banned their use for the placement of African-American students in EMR programs in the state of California. Since this ruling, additional court rulings--as well as intervention by the California Department of Education--have resulted in the complete ban of IQ test administration to African-American students for any special education purpose in California public schools--which continues to the present. California is currently the only state in America in which school psychologists are prohibited from assessing African-American students with IQ tests. This paper reviews key events in the history of this important case and its aftermath and pays particular attention to highlighting the role of the California Association of School Psychologists (CASP) in these events. The article ends with key lessons learned that could be helpful to state school psychology organizations, specifically, and the school psychology profession, generally.
Descriptors: Court Litigation, African American Students, Intellectual Disability, Disproportionate Representation, Intelligence Tests, Test Bias, Racial Bias, Student Placement, School Psychologists, Student Evaluation, Educational History, Professional Associations, School Psychology, Special Education, Legal Problems, Best Practices
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Larry P v Riles