The Soledad Children: The Fight to End Discriminatory IQ Tests

The Soledad Children: The Fight to End Discriminatory IQ Tests

by Marty Glick, Maurice Jourdane


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


Ten-year-old Arturo Velázquez was born and raised in a farm labor camp in Soledad, California. He was bright and gregarious, but he didn’t speak English when he started first grade. When he entered third grade in 1968, the psychologist at Soledad Elementary School gave him an English-language IQ test. Based on the results, he was placed in a class for the “Educable Mentally Retarded (EMR).” Arturo wasn’t the only Spanish-speaking child in the room; all but one were from farmworker families. All were devastated by the stigma and lack of opportunity to learn.

In 1969, attorneys at California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) discovered California public schools were misusing English-language, culturally biased IQ tests, by asking questions like “Who wrote Romeo and Juliet?” to place Spanish-speaking students into EMR classes. Additionally, Mexican-American children were not the only minorities impacted. While African-American and Mexican-American students made up 21.5% of the state population, they were 48% of special education programs!

Written by two of the attorneys who led the charge against the unjust denial of an education to Mexican-American youth, The Soledad Children: The Fight to End Discriminatory IQ Tests recounts the history of both the CRLA and the class-action suit filed in 1970, Diana v. the State Board of Education, on behalf of 13,000 Hispanic kids already placed in EMR classes and another 100,000 at risk of being relegated to a virtual purgatory. From securing removal from EMR classes for the misplaced to ensuring revised, appropriate testing for students throughout the state, this engrossing book recounts the historic struggle—by lawyers, parents, psychologists and legislators—to guarantee all affected young people in California received equitable access to education.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781558858886
Publisher: Arte Publico Press
Publication date: 09/30/2019
Pages: 262
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

MARTY GLICK is a litigator with the international firm, Arnold & Porter, and is listed in Best Lawyers in America in Intellectual Property and Patent Law. He worked in Mississippi for the Justice Department in the 1960s and for the California Rural Legal Assistance for eight years. He has been CRLA's outside counsel for four decades. He lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.

MAURICE "MO" JOURDANE is the author of The Struggle for the Health and Legal Protection of Farm Workers: El Cortito (Arte Público Press, 2005). His work at California Rural Legal Assistance helped secure farmworkers' rights during the nation's civil rights gains of the 1960s and 1970s. He lives and works in San Diego, California.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xi

Author's Note xiii

Prologue xv

Part 1 1964-1966 Beginning and Organizing

Chapter 1 The Birth of the Legal Services Program 3

Chapter 2 Jim Lorenz and CRLA 6

Chapter 3 Marty Click 9

Chapter 4 CRLA Opens for Clients 18

Part 2 1966-1969 The Salinas Office

Chapter 5 The Salinas CRLA Office 23

Chapter 6 Early Salinas Days 30

Chapter 7 The Salinas Strawberries Case 33

Chapter 8 Martin Produce 38

Chapter 9 The Bracero Case 42

Chapter 10 The Literacy Case 52

Chapter 11 Salinas Activity Before the DIANA Case 54

Chapter 12 Call Me Pancho 59

Part 3 1969-1970 The Diana Case: Round One

Chapter 13 IQ Test History 63

Chapter 14 The Foundation Is Laid for the Diana Case 67

Chapter 15 Mo Joined CRLA 72

Chapter 16 Soledad and a Parent Steps Forward 75

Chapter 17 Meeting in Soledad 79

Chapter 18 The Association of Chicano Psychologists 83

Chapter 19 The Retesting of the Soledad Children 86

Chapter 20 Retest Results in Detail 89

Chapter 21 Cruz Reynoso 92

Chapter 22 Meetings with Soledad Officials 94

Chapter 23 The DIANA Complaint 106

Chapter 24 Judge Assignment 108

Chapter 25 The Plaintiffs and the Defendants Identified 111

Chapter 26 The Remedy Issue 113

Chapter 27 The Complaint Tells the Whole Story 116

Chapter 28 The Request for Immediate Relief 123

Chapter 29 The Superintendent of Public Instruction 126

Chapter 30 Professional Pyschologist Affidavits 129

Chapter 31 Negotiations with the Soledad District and the State 134

Chapter 32 The February 1970 Court Order 137

Chapter 33 Diana Press Coverage 141

Chapter 34 The Lompoc District Protest 143

Chapter 35 Changes in Soledad 145

Chapter 36 Getting Legislation Passed 146

Part 4 1971-1972 Governor Reagan Attacks CRLA

Chapter 37 Reagan Attempts to Kill CRLA 153

Chapter 38 CRLA Hearings 158

Chapter 39 Diana Spawns the Larry P. Case 163

Chapter 40 Larry P. Is Filed and an Injunction Issued 168

Part 5 1972-1979 Diana and Larry P. Fight to the Finish

Chapter 41 Back in Action 173

Chapter 42 The New IQ Test 175

Chapter 43 The New Stipulation and Court Order 180

Chapter 44 Negotiations to Fill in the Blank 182

Chapter 45 The State Tries to Evade the Court Order 184

Chapter 46 The Contempt Action Is Filed 188

Chapter 47 The Remedy Caused Real Change 196

Chapter 48 Group IQ Tests Banned 199

Chapter 49 Nature v. Nurture; The Role of Testing 201

Chapter 50 The Larry P. Trial 204

Part 6 2018 and Beyond Today and Tomorrow

Chapter 51 Revisiting the Soledad Children Years Later 211

Chapter 52 Diana and Larry P. Decades Later 217

Customer Reviews