According to New York City Mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Bill de Blasio and his new education advisory committee, merit is racist. Therefore, a select number of merit-based programs will no longer be available or allowed in New York City public schools.
However, they don’t have a shred of evidence to back this up.
As the Commentary’s Christine Rosen writes, “The advisory panel describes merit-based testing and other screen procedures used in New York City’s public schools as ‘exclusionary admissions practices,’ not because they found an evidence of racial bias in the screening procedures but simply because the outcome of the screening does not perfectly reflect the demographic make-up of the city.”
All of New York’s selective schools are already open to anyone of any race or ethnicity. However, upon looking at the demographic makeup of those schools it was found that many of the students were predominately Asian or white.
Thus, the panel has concluded that the screenings into these schools must be racist. they have recommended to “stop using academic criteria to screen applicants for admission to public middle schools, and to phase out elementary gifted-and-talented programs that now require a test.”
So it would seem that education committee would rather have classrooms with just right amount of different ethnicities sprinkled in than have schools that actually care about academics.
If it doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry, you aren’t alone.
I mean, after all, isn’t that what schools and classrooms are for, to teach students, to educate them, and give them academic skills.
But no apparently, we are wrong.
It will no longer matter whether or not a student is academically ready for that school or a specific grade; all that will matter is the color of their skin.
And we say this is supposed to help eliminate the issue of race. I think not. Instead, it draws a focus on it.
According to a study conducted by the city’s Independent Budget Office, de Blasio’s new plan would raise the amount of Hispanic and black students in the school population from 10 percent to 50 percent. Likewise, white and Asian enrollments would be cut in half.
And NYC schools are not the only ones who are shifting to this way of thinking.
Recently the US College Board agreed that it would begin assessing an “adversity score” for each student who takes the SAT. Apart from their academic standing and performance, this will calculate the student’s “socio-economic” status.
According to the Board, this will allow students who may not typically perform as well as others to be included in the running for college admittance based on the hardships or ‘adversity’ they have endured throughout their young life.
The “adversity score” would be assessed based on 15 factors of the student’s life. David Coleman, CEO of College Board and the man behind Common Core, says, “If you distinguish yourself by performing extraordinarily well in demanding circumstances, we can see you – you’re not counted out from the beginning.”
And while we can agree there are a significant number of “disadvantaged” and low-income students who face rather extreme hardships for one so young and likewise that we should help out when we can, we aren’t so sure that this new “adversity score” is the route to be taken. After all, it seems pretty discriminatory in its own right.
This is because the College Board would not disclose what those 15 metrics to measure students by are. Nor will they reveal their “score” to either parents or students. Only colleges will receive the score, which seems a little fishy if you ask me.
So what we have here is a secret test, with unknown questions and factors, graded by random, unelected people, with zero accountability. What could go wrong?
Sure, the diversity in schools and colleges will likely increase, and that’s not a bad thing. But what will be lost in the process? Suddenly students who have worked their tails off and received the grades and merit they deserve, get overlooked and dismissed simply because their skin is the wrong color, or their childhood wasn’t hard enough.
If that doesn’t seem discriminatory, then I don’t know what will.