Jason Stanford explains why it won’t be easy for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to “walk back” his insulting remarks about “white suburban moms.”

When defenders of the testing industry in Texas tried the same tactic, they succeeded in strengthening the backlash against high-stakes testing.

It was not just “white suburban moms” who objected to the overemphasis on testing, but moms and dads of all races, living in not only suburbs, but cities and rural areas.

They organized, they pushed back, and they beat the testing industry, which had for many years successfully gotten hundreds of millions of dollars for more and more testing, even as school budgets were cut to the bone.

Stanford concludes:

As in Texas, Sec. Duncan’s attempt to blame mothers has caused a backlash. Sec. Duncan’s half-hearted apology for his “controversial-sounding soundbites” and “clumsy phrasing” has done nothing to quell the full-throated opposition. Critics have started a petition on WhiteHouse.gov to remove Duncan as Secretary of Education, and a Facebook group called Moms Against Duncan (MAD) had more than 3,500 members.

The apology is beside the point. Parents of public school students — myself included — are mad that our education system is still based on standardized tests that are developmentally inappropriate, unable to measure classroom learning, and over-emphasized to the point of corrupting the curriculum. Moms (and dads, for that matter) will not be happy until we put developing children and not raising test scores at the center of our education policy. We’re just waiting for Sec. Duncan to realize that he isn’t as brilliant as he thinks he is.