The state of public education in this country has been on a downward path toward insolvency for decades. Similar to the crippling effect increasing regulation has on businesses, leftist policies applied to the education system has gradually hastened its degradation.
The ironic thing is that even leftists can see that public education is failing, prompting them to hastily work on plans to “save” it. However, as we are all aware, their perspective on how the world should work is flawed beyond comprehension. This painful reality was on full display, recently, in the Upper West Side school district of New York City.
P.S. 199 is the school at the center of the controversy. It’s funny, you can always tell when the government is involved in an aspect of our lives, when serial numbers are substituted for names… Sort of like jail… I digress. The charge against this school is that it is too white, and that adding more minorities (aka diversifying) will benefit everyone involved.
To execute this, the district is planning to mandate that the 17 middle schools in the UWS school district, including P.S. 199, institute a “diversity plan.” This will alter the process by which students are admitted to their desired school. Currently, the school district has a multifaceted admissions process which combines interviews, test scores, and grades to rank each student applicant for consideration. Sounds like the real world, right? The more qualified individuals take precedence, and the less qualified are thereby given their motivation to push harder for success.
Well, as you may have already guessed, the leftist school board members weren’t going to stand for that. However, didn’t they cite diversity of race as their primary motivation for changing the process? Before getting into the specifics of the new policy, let’s take a moment to unpack their motivation.
Too White Just Isn’t Right
The stated problem the district is trying to solve is the lack of racial diversity among their schools. This begs the question: What in the world does diversity of race have to do with enriching and enhancing the knowledge gained by the district’s students? I’ll answer: Absolutely nothing. But, the idea of pushing “diversity for diversity’s sake” doesn’t even sound like a winning option to these leftists, so they had to scheme their way into the hearts of the parents and teachers of their district.
Pulling the Wool Over Parents’ Eyes
In disguising a worthless idea with a horrible plan, the new diversity mandate would force schools to reserve 25% of their seats for students who scored below grade level in English and Math. I repeat, their morally superior and ingeniously omniscient plan aims to move already struggling or failing students into classrooms where 75% of the students are testing much higher, thus likely resulting in a curriculum optimized for the average level of intelligence of the advanced students.
The specifics of this new plan, of course, refer to the test scores and grades earned by the students. However, reading between the lines, one quickly realizes that if they are advocating for diversifying the racial makeup of the schools, then they must see a correlation between test scores and race. This is one of the leading reasons the Left have failed in making anything they touch better. The idea that diversifying strictly based on race will always result in a net gain is ludicrous. There is no scientific or logical basis to support this assertion, yet the “champions of science” choose to ignore these crucial facts.
Some Parents See Through the Facade
Parents within the district have rightly avoided opening up the racial portion of this controversy, as this would likely cause the conversation to break down, sending everyone retreating to their corners. Instead, they have chosen to argue against the basis for the district’s new direction. Forcing students, who are not ready to learn in advanced environments, into those environments is a recipe for disaster. If the district is facing a high rate of failure now, this institution of this new policy will only make things worse.
The weaker students are likely to have an even more difficult time learning in the new environment, falling even further behind where they would have been had they remained in their former school. On the other hand, the stronger students will undoubtedly see their curriculum reduced, in an attempt to help the struggling students “catch up” to the rest of the class. Everyone loses.
Conclusion: Challenge the Fallacy of the Left
As I stated earlier, the Left’s answer is never the correct answer. It is born of purely subjective feelings, cooked up by socialists who spend all of their time attempting to artificially level every “playing field” they can get their hands on. The sad truth is that the answer is staring them right in the face. In this case, the failing students in the failing schools need to be worked with, and the district needs to put a winning structure in place around them. They don’t need to be ripped out of their familiar homerooms and transplanted into foreign learning environments in which they will have virtually zero chance to succeed. But that is much more difficult than selling snake oil, in the form of a hollow diversity plan, designed to make the world “feel better” while their children suffer the consequences for society’s failure to act in their best interest.