Judge: Lawmakers can't end tests

Posted February 22, 2011
Updated February 23, 2011

The Wake County judge known for his advocacy of equal education opportunities threw a roadblock Tuesday into lawmakers plan to cut costs by eliminating end-of-course tests in four subjects.

In a 22-page letter to the GOP leadership in the General Assembly, Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning wrote the change would be "impermissible and would constitute a violation of the children's rights."

A Republican spokesman called Manning's action "literally legislating from the bench." 

Manning wrote the subjects in question – U.S. History, Civics and Economics, Algebra 2 and Physical Science – are part of a basic education as set out in the landmark Leandro court decision that he presided over, and threatened a court showdown if lawmakers pass the plan. 


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  • josephlawrence43 Feb 25, 2011

    Howard Manning--the judge in the Leandro case--how many years ago--is riding this thing into retirement. He knows nothing of teaching, education, or apparently about his own original order. It says that testing "could be used" to guage progress---it does not say "testing WILL BE USED to determine progress. As for him closing schools and firing all the teachers and staff...Just what is he going to do with the students in those schools? Where is he going to get the money and personnel? A blowhard at best..

  • law Feb 24, 2011

    Manning is out of line, here. Don't whine about the legislation before it's litigated by one of your "equal [worthless] education" advocates. And if you must whine about it, try not to do so in a memorandum that looks like it was drafted by a 70-year-old man with no computer skills and zero Bluebook knowledge. Oops!

  • rpate2 Feb 24, 2011

    Bologna! SHAME ON JUDGE MANNING! These tests are NOT needed to measure teacher quality. They are NOT a valid measure. Scores on EOC tests depend on whether or not the student studies, IQ, having an attention span of 4 hours or more, and the ability to memorize a very complex 800 page textbook. Many students do not care about their education and are only in school so they can keep their driver’s licenses or get a social security check. The best teacher in the world can present all of the information, but if the student is not interested in learning it, they can’t force them to. Yet the teacher gets blamed for low test scores and compared to each other. It’s simply the “luck of the draw” – teachers who get good, smart, motivated students get high test scores. Teachers who get slow or unmotivated students get bad test scores. Notice how teachers with honors classes have high test scores? Some principals “stack the cards” by giving certain teachers the best stud

  • thewayitis Feb 24, 2011

    Wow! I thought legislators made the laws, and judges were only responsible for implementing the laws that the LEGISLATORS made.

  • mommie2finch Feb 23, 2011

    Judge Manning my when my daughter found out that there was someone finally in Raleigh that listened and was strong enough to stand up for the over testing she was very excited.Since the EOG and EOC testing has become mandatory she and others like her have bocome so stressed out that during the school year become of being afraid of being retain because of not passing some state mandated test.If you could only see what this has done to my daughter and others like her I believe that you would change your mind and agree with the legistors that agree.If anyone knows best it is the educators that support this bill of eliminating this test.Children have and will always mastered a course without having to worry or stress on a test that has proven to not only cause the dropout rate increase but has also cause children that have excelled and mastered the class with exception to those nerve wrecking EOC test that doesnot prove that a child who is not able to pass has failed.Why not hold a forum f