NEW YORK (Jul. 18)
The American Jewish Congress Metropolitan Council has called for immediate action by the city to have an outside testing agency devise and administer examinations “that will accurately measure the potential of a candidate to be a good school principal.” Theodore R. Kolish, chairman of the Council, said he welcomed Federal Judge Walter R. Mansfield’s injunction last Wednesday against current examinations for supervisory personnel in the city school system. Kolish warned, however, against abolishing the principle of written qualifying examinations. He said that while the Congress had recognized “grave deficiencies” in the current exams, it believed abolition of written tests altogether would “open the door to patronage, discrimination and ethnic politics which can only produce inferior education and community divisiveness.” Kolish said he refused to believe “that the alternative to had testing is no testing at all.” He added: “New and better tests can and must be devised and administered by an outside testing agency, a practice we believe will provide an objective system for the selection of supervisory personnel and will also avoid community polarization. “Now that the Federal court has granted injunctive relief from the current tests on grounds that there has probably been de facto discrimination against minority groups, it is incumbent upon the city to move toward contracting with an independent, qualified outside agency for the preparation and administration of new and fairer tests,” he said.