The 'soft bigotry of low expectations' is a phrase I first heard in the writings of Thomas Sowell. It was later picked up by a Bush speechwriter and used when talking about NCLB. This article, from Texas no less, typifies the phrase when talking about test scores:
At Jane Long Middle School in Bryan, a fire alarm went off during the social studies TAKS exam. Bryan officials argued that the alarm had distracted the school's black students, whose scores had fallen short of the acceptable bar.
I'd love to sit in on the appeals hearing, if only to ask why the alarm distracted only black students.