Former vice president Joe Biden indicated on Saturday that he would ban standardized testing in public schools if he were elected president.
Biden’s pledge came as a response to a question from an audience member at the MSNBC Public Education Forum.
“Given that standardized testing is rooted in a history of racism and eugenics,” the audience member asked, “if you are elected president, will you commit to ending the use of standardized testing in public schools?”
“Yes,” Biden responded. “As one of my friends and black pastors I spend a lot of time with . . . would say, you’re preaching to the choir, kid.”
“Teachers should be able to determine the curricula in their schools,” Biden went on. “Now, I’m not trying to be nice, there’s some lousy teachers out there, okay? . . . I’m not saying every teacher’s a great teacher. What I am saying is, you know what it takes to communicate to a child what in fact they need to know.”
Biden is currently leading the Democratic presidential race in national polls, but trails in the first two state primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Biden has retained his national lead in part due to wide support among black voters in southern states such as South Carolina. The former vice president’s current challenger for the more moderate wing of the Democratic party, Pete Buttigieg, has failed so far to gain adequate support among black voters.