Posted on April 8, 2022

Racial-Equity Warriors Are Hurting the Disadvantaged by Dumbing Down Schools

Betsy McCaughey, New York Post, March 10, 2022


Racial-equity warriors are canceling Advanced Placement courses and eliminating honors programs all across America. In some schools, they’re doing away with homework deadlines, attendance requirements and test scores. We’re told these changes will make school more inclusive for underperforming black and Latino students.

Dismantling the school meritocracy is insane. It robs students — especially kids from low-income and immigrant households — of their best chance to get ahead.

Parents at LaGuardia HS in Manhattan were notified last week that the school’s AP Calculus course doesn’t meet College Board standards. Students taking the course to prepare for the AP Calculus exam and apply to college just got sabotaged.

Truth is, LaGuardia’s principal, Yeou-Jey Vasconcelos, has been gunning for AP courses since she took the job. Last summer, Vasconcelos told parents that “standardized test scores reflect systemic racism rather than student achievement.” Parents knew that was nonsense and thwarted the plan. So AP Calculus apparently got dumbed down instead.


Yet in New York City and nationwide, honors programs and accelerated math for middle schoolers and calculus in high school are on the chopping block. The city Department of Education notified principals, “Recognizing student excellence via honor rolls” is “detrimental” to some students.

Parents at three New York City middle schools have had to battle against eliminating honors math classes. The latest skirmish is at Robert Wagner MS in Manhattan. The DOE contends that all Wagner seventh graders will have an honors-level curriculum in math.

{snip} Citywide, only 27% of eighth-graders are proficient in math, based on standardized tests.

Woke educational activists say math tracking — allowing kids to take different courses based on ability — promotes segregation, since, e.g., black students are only half as likely to take calculus as whites.


Citing Joe Feldman’s “Grading for Equity,” the Los Angeles Unified School District and the San Diego Unified School District, the two largest in California, are admonishing teachers not to penalize students for bad behavior, missing homework, sloppy work or cutting class. Grading on those standards, the LA district says, is “rewarding our most privileged students and punishing those who are not.”