Can you believe this? A reader of Peter Greene’s blog pointed him to New Mexico’s administrative code.


Section of the NMAC deals with staff responsibilities regarding testing, and it includes a list of “prohibitive practices”– things that staff are forbidden to do. At the end of the list, that it shall be prohibitive practice for the staff member

disparage or diminish the significance, importance or use of the standardized tests.


This is ridiculous. Imagine if a class read chapter 4 in my book Left Back: A Century of Battles Over School Reform. They would learn about the history of standardized testing, about the flaws of I.Q. testing, about the eugenics movement, about the origins of the SAT. This would start a great debate about how students should be tested. But part of the discussion might lead some students to disparage the standardized tests and to question their significance, importance, use, and misuse.


But this discussion is prohibited. So which takes precedence: The First Amendment to the Constitution or the New Mexico Administrative Code. I wonder if any other states have similar gag rules for discussions of standardized testing.