Inclusion By Exclusion: The Twisted Logic Of Educators Achieving Equality

Below is my column in Tthe Hill Newspaper on the recent proposal by a diversity panel appointed by Mayor Bill De Blasio to eliminate much of the Gifted and Talented programs in the school system. It is part of a broader trend of achieving equality by eliminating opportunities or recognitions.

Here is the column:

Democratic presidential candidate and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio may have a new claim for the campaign trail. He has been challenged to list his accomplishments, particularly after reports came out this week that the number of people leaving New York City has doubled in the last year. However, he might rightfully claim that he wiped out racial disparity in the gifted and talented programs in New York City. De Blasio gave the problem to his school diversity advisory group two years ago, which just came back with a simple solution to eliminate the gifted and talented programs in most schools and poof! You will have racial equality.

Despite more than one million students, the group apparently decided that decades of efforts to achieve diversity in these programs have failed. Black and Latino students make up 65 percent of the kindergarten population of New York City public schools but only 18 percent of the students were offered slots in gifted and talented programs. On the high school level, the disparity is even greater. At the most competitive of its eight elite high schools, only seven of the 895 qualifying students were black. Some 587 were Asian, 194 were white, 45 were unspecified, 33 were Latino, 20 were multiracial, and nine were Native American.

Notably, the termination of the gifted and talented programs would not include those high schools. To most people, such solutions smack of their own form of discrimination. Those white and Asian students still have a great need for such programs, as do those nearly 20 percent of minority students. This achieves equality only by cleaving off the top of academic programs. De Blasio is not alone in achieving inclusion through exclusion. Indeed, even the sight of top intellectuals can prove too much for some.

A few years ago, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow went to Rockefeller University in New York City to bestow an award for women scientists. Maddow apparently saw an alarming sight, a wall covered with alumni winners of the Nobel Prize and the Lasker Award, intellectual giants of science like Francis Peyton Rous, who discovered the role of viruses in the transmission of certain cancers. The problem was that they were all white men, and Maddow reportedly exclaimed, “What is up with the dude wall?”

The “dude wall” is now gone. As Dr. Leslie Vosshall, a neurobiologist at Rockefeller University and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has explained, “100 percent of them are men. It is probably 30 headshots of 30 men. So it is imposing. I think every institution needs to go out into the hallway and ask, what kind of message are we sending?”

For most of us, the obvious message is that these individuals achieved the highest honors in their fields, and the significance is neither their race nor their gender but their intellect. But Vosshall said the sight of so many white men has bothered her for years, and she was part of a committee that removed the portraits. For its part, Rockefeller University insists it did not “remove” but “redesigned” for greater “inclusion.” It claims that there was no more room on the “dude wall,” so it created a photo display allowing for a more inclusive group of winners of various prizes.

Rockefeller University is not alone in this endeavor. Dr. Betsy Nabel, the president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School, decided to sanitize the Bornstein Amphitheater of white men. Nabel declared that all the portraits of the leading figures at Brigham and Women’s Hospital made minority students uncomfortable and ordered their removal. Those portraits included Dr. Harvey Cushing, the father of neurosurgery, and the first chief of pathology, Dr. William Councilman.

At Yale University, Pierson College head Stephen Davis removed all of the portraits of school “masters” because they happened to be white men and declared that the wall would remain blank so that “everyone has a sense of belonging and ownership.” He reversed his decision following a public backlash against this action and insisted that he was misunderstood in his effort to allow a broader dialogue on race and diversity in academia.

There is more to this issue than simple interior decorating. In academia, we honor intellectual advances and measure those without reference to race or gender. All those portraits represent the greatest among us as intellectuals. To see only their race and gender is not just backlash against intellectual achievement but can be itself a form of racial and gender bias. This brings us back to the New York City diversity group. Somewhere in the public school system there is the next Rous or Cushing. The question is whether that child will have a chance to excel without administrators fretting about his or her race or how it looks for the local politicians.

The problem is that highly gifted students need to be able to progress at a faster pace with more challenging material. Otherwise, they can become bored and even regress in their development. For teachers, one of the most difficult challenges is dealing with overcrowded classrooms in which students learn at different paces. The result is often having to teach the majority of the class and leaving those at the top to educate themselves or just drift along. That is why we have gifted and talented programs.

With this change, all students may fare worse. Gifted students are likely to push down the scores and rankings of other students. Currently, students in other programs can still excel and achieve high class rankings to seek college positions. Many emerge, at their own pace, as top students at elite universities. Now, however, these students are likely to find themselves less competitive. Alternatively, some gifted students may simply leave, and calls for vouchers may increase. This will achieve the desegregation interests of the panel by reducing the diversity of the system overall.

Whether it is removing programs or portraits, these efforts are based on a twisted sense of equality. Rather than look at students as individuals with special talents, these educators want to end their programs because of their race. Rather than look at Nobel Prize winners as the geniuses who helped to shape and advance our knowledge of the world, they are seen as irredeemably white or Asian or male. It appears some would prefer a blank wall or an empty building as the ultimate expression of equality.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

151 thoughts on “Inclusion By Exclusion: The Twisted Logic Of Educators Achieving Equality”

    1. Native American is a preposterous and oxymoronic contradiction in terms.

      Them Injuns are native to Asia from gazillions of years ago; they’s nomads.

      America wasn’t America until 1789.

      Them Injuns were direct and mortal enemies of Americans.

      Once again you prove your worth.

  1. Richard Carranza is a familiar type in the school apparat. He’s a mediocre man who has advanced in his trade consequent to (1) racking up credits at teachers’ colleges; (2) having certain ascribed traits; and (3) adhering to the social ideology of the teachers’ colleges. He has no post-secondary academic education beyond some distribution credits and he has no vocational skills in any area which has robust operational measures of competence. IOW, he’s a mediocre performer who identifies with other mediocre performers. Mustn’t have vigorous tracking, because that suggests that there is variation in performance and some people perform better than others. We cannot have that, because all observed differences in performance are a function of ‘institutional racism’. We know that because Howard Zinn said so. This is the man Bilge diBlabbio fancies is the candy to run New York City’s troubled school system.

    Of course, New York City benefits from a school system which makes for optimal use of resources given what’s necessary to establish certain performance baselines among those of the youth population adequately adaptable to classroom instruction. Everyone up to a certain level, then efficiency considerations thereafter. What Carranza and diBlabbio want is a school system which functions as a toy theatre for their ideological delusions.

    Partisan Democrats ruin everything they touch.

    1. Your use of “apparat” (i.e. apparatchik) demonstrates an acknowledgment that America has been subsumed by communists.

      I LIKE it!

      The entire American communist welfare state is extant and unconstitutional.

      Public education is the “tip of the spear” of the American communist campaign.

  2. Oil and water do not mix; emulsifiers are required. In America, those emulsifiers are generational welfare, affirmative action privilege, quotas, food stamps, utility subsidies, WIC, TANF, HAMP, HARP, HUD, HHS, Medicaid, Obamacare, etc. ad infinitum. The fruits of success must be eliminated and the misery, not the wealth, shared. Liberal, socialist, progressive, democrat communists forcibly impose pure redistribution of wealth and social engineering per the Communist Manifesto. How did they get that power? Charity is industry conducted in the free markets of the private sector.

    Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in America anymore.

    Equality is ludicrous and impossible. Whatever will people do without trashmen and sewer technicians? Communist dictatorship is required to achieve “equality.” Communism defines New York city. Freedom is the only rational goal mankind might ever hope to achieve. Competition produces the best product (i.e. educational success) at the lowest price. It’s merit that matters. Misdirecting and overwhelming opponents with complexity is tactical obfuscation. Teacher/professor unions have Americans by the —– and Americans follow blindly. Why?

    “When you have them by the —–, their hearts and minds will follow.”

    – Anonymous

    The communists should be told to take a hike, teachers strikes must be abolished, the teachers/professors unions decertified, elected officials returned to their fiduciary relationship with taxpayers and public education returned strictly to the three R’s. America doesn’t need the Lamborghini version for public education it needs that of the Yugo. The critical factor in education is student capacity and NYC is not full of Einsteins. Superior and enhanced education for qualified students must be pursued in the free markets of the private sector. The communist program of redistribution of wealth to teachers, professors and public workers must be terminated with extreme prejudice.

  3. All comes under the heading of small ‘f’ fascism as practiced by Comrade Blasio and party. Control using any and all means possible or available.

    Further proof of the Universal Empty Field Theory now a postulate as some volunteer

  4. 1. Gifted or AP aren’t pre-rocket science. I suggest that the Asian scores are average and the others show just frigging stupid a society can become when led by trendy cultural messages. Craven, phony messages curated by the corrupt and assimilated instantaneously into the shallows of the victimized/woke psyche.

  5. If the public schools lose interest in providing opportunities to gifted students, then parents of means will choose private schools. Parents without means cannot. Barring scholarships, this measure will disproportionately affect the poor gifted students, leaving them behind to be unchallenged.

    When I was a kid, GATE provided project based learning and independent work. Otherwise, I would have sat in class staring out the window with nothing to do.

    My relative is known to say that his two career choices were academic or juvenile delinquent, and it was a near thing. The bored mind can be mischievous.

    Disparity of outcome is not proof of racism. No matter how poor, emphasis on academic achievement in the family home is generally associated with an increased academic success of children.

    Many Asian cultures place a heavy responsibility of academic excellence on their children. If their immigrant parents are working 20 hour days in restaurants and shops, by hell or high-water, those kids had better be getting straight As, all honors classes, with violin lessons, and extra after school classes in Mandarin or Korean. I swear, I’ve known Asian students with enough pressure on them to turn them into diamonds. They do great in school. I will say, that the pressure can be so excessive that some feel terror if they don’t perform well on a test, or would rather be something other than a doctor or whatever chosen status job their parents have selected they train for. There is a reason why most of the windows at my alma mater above lethal height were sealed shut.


    Professor Turley perhaps unwittingly hit on the significant sub-issue when he noted enrollment figures for New York’s elite schools:

    “At the most competitive of its eight elite high schools, only seven of the 895 qualifying students were black. Some 587 were Asian, 194 were white, 45 were unspecified, 33 were Latino, 20 were multiracial, and nine were Native American”.

    According to these stats, and stats from schools around the country, Asians are emerging as an academic super-group that blows away everyone else. The University of California system and all the Ivy League schools have struggled to deal with this trend. If admissions were based on merit-only, our very best schools would be dominated by Asians who still represent less than 15% of America’s overall population.

    This dilemma may have factored into DeBlasio’s thinking when he decided to dismantle the high-performance schools. There may have been a ‘perception’ that these schools were for elite Asians. But this issue is not likely to go away. In the not so distant future, Asians might be holding a disproportionate number of good-paying jobs. Then we might reach a point where those ‘dude walls’ feature mainly Asian faces.

    1. the reasons for this are simple and both evade liberal minds

      a) most of all, asians from rice-cultivation cultures expect to work 350 days a year. See Outliers by Gladwell. Super hard work ethic. Yes ethics and culture matters

      b) secondly, they have a lot of high IQ people compared to other ethnic-racial groups. See the work of… oh wait there’s too many scientists that have confirmed this to mention, but, you can read about that in Gladwell’s book too. I see a lot of people have Gladwell’s book but generally have failed to read the whole thing.

      anyhow, “the West” in its previous form was plenty well able to cope with a desirable ethnic minority with high IQ, see the one page in “The Bell Curve” that talks about high Jewish IQ among the Ashkenazim

      Today, the “West” is in disarray and dysfunctional as ever, socially speaking

    2. Hill:

      Why is this a struggle or dilemma?

      If Asians dominate at universities, then they earned it. My major was Asian dominated. My classes were a sea of black hair. By extension, those with dark hair were disproportionately represented, as were those with dark eyes.

      Who. Cares.

      Want the spot? Then work for it. There will be other students working their tails off for the end goal of going to college, while most teenagers are fretting about social media, and cliques. This is true of jobs, too. People are being out competed without even realizing it. What’s the solution? Handing people spots who didn’t work as hard as the person who’s place you pulled away from them? Racially discriminating against Asians so they have to work even harder to be competitive?

      Asians already hold a high percentage, compared to their population distribution, of high paying jobs in the sciences. I have worked with majority Asian teams back when I was working in the field.

      What I would add is that diversity of thought is more important, in the workplace, than diversity of anything so superficial as skin color. For instance, there can be a rigidity in some forms of scientific thinking. It can be highly beneficial to add people to a team probing a problem who will approach from an entirely different angle and area of expertise. Think outside the box but still from a disciplined mind. It’s like solving a puzzle.

      1. Karen, I don’t mind. It makes no difference to me on any perennial level. But–

        But as America becomes increasingly diverse, having an elite minority from any one particular group is going to be an obvious source of friction.

        1. Leftists like Terrorists Antifa are working on eliminating all Americans who hold opinions different than theirs

          ‘Stay out of Boston,’ judge tells anti-Straight Pride protesters

          Boston Herald

          September 3, 2019 at 2:21 pm

          Three of the 36 anti-Straight Pride Parade protesters being arraigned today were ordered to “stay out of Boston” by a judge who said he wouldn’t even allow one of them to visit relatives in Jamaica Plain.

          All three were accused of assault and battery on police at Saturday’s downtown parade, with two of them also arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on disorderly and resisting arrest charges. Others also arraigned today were told to stay out of downtown.

          Judge Thomas Horgan said the three risked being put in jail for 90 days if they didn’t follow his instructions. “Stay out of Boston,” Horgan repeated when the attorney for one of the men asked that his client only be forbidden from downtown Boston so he could visit relatives in Jamaica Plain.

          “They’re going to have to go visit him, then,” Horgan said.

          The three are only allowed to return to the city for court dates and lawyers’ appointments, the judge added.

          Benjamin Boyd, Kenneth Kraft Jr. and Timothy “Sage” Rego were each arraigned on charges including assault and battery on a cop. All pleaded not guilty to shoving cops at the parade. Kraft is from Bethlehem, Pa. The other two are from Providence. None wanted to talk to the Herald afterward. All three are due back in court Nov. 15.

          Judge Richard Sinnott, in a different courtroom, denied requests from prosecutors to dismiss the cases against seven protesters, a decision police hailed.

          “We’re very happy with the judge’s decision,” said Larry Calderone, vice president of the Boston Police’s Patrolmen Association.

          Over a dozen people were set to be arraigned today, with only 10 going before a judge before the court took a break from session for lunch.

          Seven of those individuals were charged with minor offenses — mainly disorderly conduct — but Sinnott denied the the requests of the prosecutors to dismiss the cases on the condition they complete community service.

          Sinnott did not state the reason for his decisions in court.

          All seven were told to avoid downtown Boston, except for Rubie Fulford, who said she needs to attend medical appointments in Chinatown for a concussion she sustained at the event.

          The seven people whose cases were not dismissed were:

          Gregory Garmil, 30, Brighton: Disorderly conduct

          Richard Wood, 37, Rehoboth: Disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, carrying a dangerous weapon

          Trevor Steele, 21, Westbrooke, Minn: Disorderly conduct

          Nathan Bartels, 27, Newport, R.I.: Disorderly conduct

          Matthew Yourtee, 25, Windham, N.H.: Disorderly conduct

          Daniel Quiray, 35, Douglas: Disorderly conduct

          Rubie Fulford, 20, Roslindale: Disorderly conduct

          Three people protesting the Straight Pride Parade, Benjamin Boyd, Kenneth Kraft Jr. and Timothy “Sage” Rego, were each just arraigned on charges including assault and battery on a cop. All pleaded not guilty to shoving cops at the parade, which is what they’re charged with.

          — Sean Philip Cotter (@CotterReporter) September 3, 2019

          1. Katy….. Judge Thomas Horgan was appointed in 1999 by a Republican governor (Cellucci), and was honred in 2018 by the Mass Bar with its President’s Award.

        2. The situation to which you’re referring does not exist. The point of ‘diversity’ policies is to reduce white males from 45% of the student body in graduate programs and professional schools to 25% by replacing admissions screens based on performance metrics with admissions screens driven by considerations of political patronage.

            1. Brock’s people are e-mailing you talking points which break the lame-o meter.

              1. you realize you are getting under their skin hence their hardon to reply to you so quickly, a man crush perhaps?

                VPN apparently is a required tool for employees of Cur-Wreck da Red-Cur

              1. Cindy, that Flint Crisis happened under Governor Snyder, a Republican. His appointed manager decided that Flint could save $100 by not adding a certain chemical

                1. Hill…….But seriously, what did Obama do after declaring it Nat’l emergency.? I remember a year after that he was criticized for doing….not much.

                  1. Mitch McConnell has made it clear that he isn’t interested in any infrastructure bills. In fact, the Trump tax cut could have gone a long ways towards infrastructure. That money’s gone now. It went to the richest 1%

                    1. Peter, public works is a state and local responsibility. Qualified exceptions would be maintenance costs on long-haul interstates (including widening), water projects, upgrades to the air traffic and maritime traffic control systems, and construction projects on federal property. And, of course, the Wall, which you people are dead set against.

                  2. Cindy, if the rich become poor and the poor destitute Peter Hill will believe that to be fantastic. Just look at his email that follows. He doesn’t sound any smarter than AOC.

        3. I agree that domination of any particular race in desirable schools and jobs will be a source of resentment for some people. The questions are, should it be, and should it be catered to?

          Would there much difference between resentment at Asians earning spots in top universities, and blacks out competing whites in a particular field? Would the same people in academia who discriminate against Asians also support discriminating against blacks if it is found that they disproportionately take up desirable jobs based on pure merit?

          Discrimination against Asians in academia and in the workplace has been going on so long that it’s just accepted. My theory is that it’s considered acceptable in academia and elsewhere because these are high achievers.

          Asians have suffered from hundreds of years of enslavement, discrimination, bigotry, wars, famines…In fact, Asia is one of the countries where human slavery is still commonly found.

          Yet, when they come here, they work hard, put mountains of pressure on the slim shoulders of their children to excel in school, and produce statistically law abiding, academically successful offspring. Hard work and support at home pays off.

          I think that we disagree on what diversity means. To me, skin color is like eye and hair color. It is an adaptive trait that can signify the climate of our lineage. You cannot look at a black person and tell if they descended from American slaves, African slave traders, or the Barbary pirates. I’ve known Latinos and Asians who spoke not a word of their grandparents’ native languages. Does that make them “less” of their race? We need to stop using a sliding victimhood scale to attribute worth.

          To me, diversity means diversity of thought, not appearance. If you stood a black and a white woman next to each other, I would have no idea how they were different. Politics, religion, kindness, empathy, grit, determination, honesty, trust, character, great conversation, a developed palate, taste in art and music, and the way their mind works. Would they be fun on a 10 hour road trip to a horse show? How does their mind work? Do they ride English or Western? Bitless and barefoot or gag bit and shoes? Jumping, dressage, cutting, or trail?

          We look for different things in diversity of friends, then we do in diversity in the workplace. We’re looking for good people we enjoy to be friends with. In the work place, a diverse team often entails bringing people with different expertise and thought patterns together to solve problems.

          Diversity of appearance would be useful in beauty contests. Otherwise, I don’t see much use for it. Filling quotas with races makes about as much sense to me as doing so with blondes, brunettes, black hair and red hair. It’s superficial and silly.

          1. There is no movement to discriminate against black athletes, although they occupy a higher percentage of lucrative professional sports positions than other races. There is no quote to have a percentage of Asians and Native Americans on basketball teams.

            Sports is at least supposed to be a meritocracy, too. You are supposed to get the spot you earned through talent and hard work.

            Resentment against black athletes taking so many coveted positions on pro teams would rightly be considered racist.

            Why is this same logic not applied to resentment towards Asians earning more spots at top schools than their demographic percentage?

            Our society needs to stop discriminating against anyone, including Asians and white males, and stop assigning value, or guilt, based on gender and race.

            Equal rules for all.

          2. I don’t know anything about football, which will become obvious.

            Diversity is like a football team. You have a guy who can kick, a lot of guys who can catch, some guys built like brick walls who can tackle, and other guys who are fast. And they’re all good at memorizing and recalling plays.

            Diversity of talent strengths = a great football team. Diversity of race does not equal a great football team.

            I would have done better with a baseball analogy. Or horses. Can’t I just use horses?

              1. Cindy, girl, that football effort was almost as painful to write as it must be to read. The only way it could be worse is if I used “thingy”.

                1. Karen…LOL what a scream.
                  Reminds me of Sally Kellerman at the end of the film M*A*S*H, when she’s leading all the nurses in cheers
                  They’re acting as cheerleaders for the soldiers who are playing a game of football.
                  She knows nothing about football…..but that doesn’t stifle her enthusiasm.
                  When their guys get a red flag, she jumps up and down, shaking her pom poms, yelling ” We got a red flag! We got a red flag!”

    3. Peter, Orientals and East Indians account for about 7% of the population around the age of 35. The % of doctoral degrees awarded in 2017 to Orientals, East Indians, &c was as follows in the fields specified.

      18.6%: “health professions” (usually medical degrees)
      14.6%: architecture &c. (research degrees)
      9.7%: biology and biomedical sciences
      7.9%: theology, &c. (research and ministry)
      7.4%: mathematics
      7.3%: engineering (research degrees)
      7.2%: business administration (research degrees)
      7.0%: law (practitioner’s juris doctor; not research degrees)

      In re all other subjects, the Oriental and East Indian component was lower than their share of the cohort populations.

      We aren’t ruled by physicians and architecture faculty, Peter.

      1. While we’re at it, many of these people are skimmed foreigners and will return home after finishing their degrees.

  7. I agree that “altering” the “dude wall” and other similar revisions are outrages, although there should be more ways of recognizing the contributions of those who have been excluded from those walls. The NYT, for example, only recently acknowledged that, throughout its history, it had barely ran any obituaries of important women. This is an outrage, too, because it has unwarrantedly made the contributions of important women invisible. And so on, with black people and other minorities, not just in obituaries.

    But to the gifted and talented issue, Professor Turley apparently is still not grasping the social costs of defining some students as gifted and talented and some as not, particularly when the phrase “gifted and talented” implicitly refers to a supposedly innate capacity (which it does refer to, that is, intelligence). The latter has still not convincingly been shown to be an innate capacity with precision that is clear enough to justify using the label “gifted and talented” across the board in the education system, in contradistinction to using it in reference to a specific skill(s) which unquestionably can be differentiated and shown to be superior or inferior based on innate capacity when two people are compared (as, for example, when one person can clearly run faster than another without hope of the slower person ever catching up). Without this showing, there is not a sufficient reason to regard points that students have achieved in their educational development, with respect to the performance of particular intellectual tasks or exercises, as evidence of being or not being “gifted and talented”, even if at a certain level of generality we may have reason to believe that some students are simply brighter than others.

    However, even if it were true that some students were inherently brighter than their peers, the question would still remain of whether the social costs of explicitly differentiating between students on that basis with congratulatory labels like “gifted and talented” would be worth doing, because it is not clear that superior educational performance warrants the results that it leads to in society after the education is finished. But that question, which also has not been adequately answered, is premature because, again, the antecedent issue of whether clearly superior educational performances in the aggregate can be put down to being “gifted and talented”, as opposed to neglect and defunding of the education system, poverty, etc., is not clear.

    This is my comment from a few days ago on the same subject. It still stands:

    DiBlasio is again the worst possible public figure to raise any important social or political question, but I don’t think Professor Turley addresses here the most fundamental problem with gifted and talented programs, which is their very name. If a student is not selected for a gifted and talented program, how do you think that that student is liable to size himself or herself up educationally? Not gifted and talented, therefore undeserving, mediocre, second-rate with respect to his or her “G & T” peers. And the converse, the gifted and talented students develop a sense of superiority over their “less talented” peers.

    One does not need social research to see where this leads, though there is such research in abundance showing how young people, especially those already socially marginalized, e.g. black people, are set back even further when they are told, implicitly or explicitly, that they are intrinsically less good (intelligence is the intrinsic quality supposedly awarded by gifted and talented programs), typically but not necessarily due to stereotypes. So, the occasional, non-gifted and talented success story that Professor Turley cites does not justify the whole arrangement which is unquestionably inculcating vastly more gratuitous failures.

    Evidently, in the U.S., more money is spent on cosmetics than on education. One also does not need social research to see where this leads. You get what you pay for. The educational resources that are not devoted to the system as a whole without differentiating between students on ostensibly immanent capacities will result in the need for such toxic, post-hoc correctives. This will not be the ground on which politicians like Deblasio will oppose these programs. They will opt instead for “progressive” platitudes like “desegregation” without looking behind them for where the corresponding economic and social commitments need to be made, whereupon the system will fail as Turley explains, because the solution will be anemic, and real progressive politics will be further discredited.

    1. You’re too focussed on hurt feelings. Human society is about survival of the group — which means maximizing the competitiveness of the group — the fate of individuals is wrapped up in what they can do to contribute toward group competitiveness. Yes, individuals have to be developed, and begin taking over developing themselves in their age 5-10 years (it’s called learning “self-management” in today’s ed lexicon).

      The thrust of improvement to education should be to create more opportunities, more on-ramps to self-development and individuation, not less. At the high school level, a sense of belonging is not owed, it is earned.

    2. ways of recognizing the contributions of those who have been excluded from those walls.

      The people who have been ‘excluded’ are like you and me. They have not made contributions of seminal value in the realm of physiology and medicine. When they do, they can take a position on the wall.

            1. Why not start with examining who was on the wall to begin with, then you tell me which professional peer had an accomplishment of like value but is not there?

    3. The NYT, for example, only recently acknowledged that, throughout its history, it had barely ran any obituaries of important women. This is an outrage, too, because it has unwarrantedly made the contributions of important women invisible.

      It’s only an outrage to silly people. And if this were a systemic problem, you’d have a hatfull of examples. You don’t.

        1. If you think that the contributions of non-white men have already been sufficiently recognized, then that speaks for itself.

          Again, get down to cases. Who should be there who isn’t there?

            1. No, you gave me a link to a paywalled Sulzberger Bum Wipe whinge about obituaries. Absolutely of no interest.

    4. But to the gifted and talented issue, Professor Turley apparently is still not grasping the social costs of defining some students as gifted and talented and some as not, particularly when the phrase “gifted and talented”

      ‘Gifted and talented’ is educrat sales speak. You can re-name the different segments of the student body ‘track a’, ‘track b’, ‘track c’, ‘track d’, and track ‘e’. If you fancy Carranza and diBlabbio will then be on board, I’m vending bridges.

      1. This doesn’t address the point. “G & T” are congratulatory labels that invidiously differentiate between students on the basis of an abstract quality (intelligence), which has not been shown to exist as an innate characteristic precisely enough either to justify the use of the labels or to necessarily account for differing educational performances in the aggregate (which is what matters when the issue is whether a program should continue). The terminology is thus just as, if not more, likely to be an unauthorized alibi, which meanwhile is psychologically damaging to students, for the long-standing assault on the public education system in favor of privatization, charter schools, poverty, or any of the other causes of the education mess that Diane Ravitch can tell you about at length if you’re really interested. It was Roger Freeman, education adviser to Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, who in 1970 said: “We are in danger of producing an educated proletariat. that’s dynamite. We have to be selective on who we allow to go through higher education.” If this doesn’t tip you off to an intent of elite types to keep the education system mediocre, then that also speaks for itself.

        1. Wartman says

          ” abstract quality (intelligence), which has not been shown to exist as an innate characteristic precisely enough either to justify the use of the labels ”

          wrong, “intelligence” is one of the most useful and most rigorously studied dimensions of cognitive ability

          get with the science sir

        2. It doesn’t matter how much you blather. diBlabbio and Carranza want an end to academic tracking. Period. Which means tremendous inefficiency in educational service delivery.

  8. Democrats always want to work to the lowest common denominator in their Mao like insistence on conformity and equality. They can’t think for themselves, so why should they encourage others to think? Just like all of the socialist and communist fascist leaders, Democrats in power want to dictate what you think, what you say,what you buy, where you work, where you live, and who you live with.

    1. As usual, some comments go over board. As the polls among Dems show, DeBlasio is hardly the darling of the Democrats. He’s a corporatist.

      1. DeBlasio walks the walk and talks the same talks as other Dems. And of course, just like all totalitarian socialists – he keeps the school his kid attended and then the kid went on to Yale HAHA his kid deserves more than the other NYC kids??? As I said the Dems demand conformity and obedience (but not for themselves – see Russian Oligarchs or Chinese Communist) Some of the smarter Dems try to package it in moderate words but their policies are all in search of the same goal. And it’s not words that matter – it’s actions and policies. Listen to Obama’s, Bernie’s and Warren’s misunderstanding of the American economy and the American dream – ” you didn’t build that” – all of them never worked a real job in their lives but were “community organizers” and liars to get “tenure” . DeBlasio just did what he could do in his local sphere following the Dem belief that those who work hard don’t deserve it. And those who are in power get to decide. It’s NOT the American way!

      2. corporatist means very little in American politics. Corporatism in European politics means something like fascism.

  9. Mathematically you can only achieve equality when everyone is reduced to the lowest achiever.

  10. A few years ago, Ellen Pao was chosen to lead Reddit decided that she’d do away with the ‘unfair’ practice of negotiating salaries. Why? Well, it seemed that men excelled at negotiating and women did not. Of course, it was only fair to just eliminate the process altogether.

    We never bring anyone up by holding others back or down. You may effect the perception of inequality by changing what uplifts others, but, in the end, those that can achieve more become bored and frustrated and those that could strive for more or better are left with only a shot at mediocrity.

  11. de Blasio is an idiot for getting rid of these programs in his high schools. This may be enough to see a new mayor elected in NYC. Angry parents get their neighbors fired up and then they all vote. He may get primaryed.(sp?)

    1. Paul, I believe the maximum number of terms for a NYC mayor is now limited to two terms.

      De Blasio was disliked by Democrats when they voted for him for mayor. There was no other Democratic “choice” so instead of telling the party they want better Democratic candidates they just voted for him. The extreme left is in control and the candidates follow suit.

  12. “At Yale University, Pierson College head Stephen Davis removed all of the portraits of school “masters” because they happened to be white men…”

    It just happened? Really! It takes a special kind of blindness to think that. Regarding the recommendations of the panel. They didn’t only suggest eliminating the current program but replacing it with something designed to be more representative. It was clear that on their own, it wasn’t going to “happen.”

    1. Enigma – the only thing a wall of academic achievers should represent is academic achievement. The race, ethnicity, gender, creed, or what their favorite vintage is, is of no importance.

      Making an effort to talk about high achieving people of particular groups is good. Personally, it never crossed my mind that any particular race would somehow be incapable of producing great things, but some people need to see a visual reminder that someone has already gone before them. Deleting, disparaging, or removing accomplished people based on gender or race is bigoted and racist.

      I graduated with a degree in an Asian dominated major, and worked in a male dominated field. I was raised that effort accomplishes goals. I never felt like I couldn’t do something, just because those around me did not look like me. In AP classes, I learned to speak up, give answers, think about problems, and collaborate. The times I worked with Asian teams, I brushed up on Mandarin greetings, learned about unlucky numbers, and learned the group dynamics. Had I not gone to AP classes, I would have been subjected to the peer pressure where, for some strange reason, girls and boys start to feel embarrassed in their teens if they know too many answers. That translated to work. The gender or racial makeup of those at the table did not matter. I spoke out. Girls and boys who graduate having succumbed to the idea that speaking their ideas are embarrassing, go into fields where they are out competed by people who do speak up, and go for it. Put a woman like that in a male dominated field, and the guys go for the opportunities and career advancements, while she wonders why she’s not noticed when it comes time for promotions. It has more to do with individual growth and effort, than it does the makeup of who else is there.

      GATE and AP classes can help in this area. It is a shame that they are being discontinued.

      1. You make some valid points. One of them you can’t make is that the wall of Masters just happened to be all white men.
        I’m not saying advanced programs shouldn’t exist. I am saying they need to have fair inclusionary practices. Is that too much to ask? The current system didn’t just happen, that’s bull.

        1. Is it my imagination, or do enigma and Anon1 rarely post at same time?
          I guess it’s difficult being two sock puppets trying to comment, while holding a bag of cheetos.
          That could almost qualify as an olympic sport 😁

            1. I’ll take the compliment, but I had been thinking that Cindy never posts at the same time Charo is on Hollywood Squares.

              1. Charo hasn’t appeared on an iteration of Hollywood Squares in 15 years, so Cindy hasn’t been dividing her time lately.

                1. TIA.XIII……I was going to mention that, but this kid is probably in his 20’s and thinks all senior citizen cultural references are the same.

                  1. Peter Hill goes on now and again about how we don’t understand youth and he will school us with the wit and wisdom of his Millennial buds and he gets his Medicare card in a few years. And then we have this other Correct-the-Record stringer pretending he’s about 75 years old.

                2. So TIA, 2004? I could have sworn it was 2006 but, i’m sure you would get Hollywood Squares and Charo right.

          1. Cindy, VPN keeps that one sock puppet alive on this forum which is why Darren can not block that one coward. Like David Benson who cant handle rejection, they insist on being part of JT’s forum.

        2. If someone isn’t testing into ‘gifted’ classes they shouldn’t be there.

          1. I absolutely don’t advocate placing unqualified people in gifted programs. Even worse is to exclude qualified people or overrepresent others based on race. It doesn’t just happen.

        3. To my knowledge a student tests into these programs which is the way merit is established. The white men on the wall achieved what others couldn’t or didnt. Because of intelligence. Not race.

          1. There was a time in our history when the only ones that could vote were white men (that owned land). That doesn’t mean they were better qualified, just that only white men were considered. Like it or not, it had to do with race and gender. The same was initially true for astronauts, policemen, firemen, college professors, and voters. The men on that wall may well have been qualified to do what got them there. So were women and minorities.

            1. That doesn’t mean they were better qualified, just that only white men were considered.

              On average, they were better qualified.

                1. The nonwhite population was in 1815 largely illiterate and there hasn’t been a time when impersonal measures didn’t suggest they were carrying less human capital. The notable exception has been the post-war Oriental population.

                  With the female population, you would have had more literacy, but less engagement with what might be called ‘public affairs’. This pattern persists even today.

                  None of this would determine a principle for the appropriate breadth of the suffrage, of course, and that breadth changed quite a bit in the early 19th century.

                    1. hey bill i liked that essay, it had a lot of good info in it. im not sure I agree with you about whatever the point was, but it was fun to read. i had to look away before I could finish it however

                      you and george could have quite a tete a tete about LIncoln!

                    2. Cindy was telling me how fluent she was in history, I was suggesting she may have missed a few things. For the sake of brevity. I left out a hundred or so major events, just like the history books.

                    3. enigmainwhite…….You want us to believe you hate whitey, for some reason, and that you’re the type of toxic bigot Dr. King warned us about.
                      You’re silly and sad.

                    4. I tell you about a hisory you’d rather have no knowledge of and would rather not face. Which would you rather; that I didn’t know the truth or that I did know and never mentioned it? I don’t hate whitey. I can hate the things whitey has done that most have no idea occured. Read about the breeding farms and then justify it? Waiting…

                    5. Cindy can’t handle the truth, which includes the fact she’s a racist claiming MLK as her mentor.

                      Enigma, I don’t know if you are aware of another Florida lynching (Live Oak) that I found really difficult to swallow. A 15 year old black kid writes a Xmas card to a young white coworker (he sent them to all) at the 5 and dime and expresses a puppy love crush, and ends up in the Suwanee River, tied hand to foot.


                      A book by a woman who grew up (white) in a small town near Columbus Georgia and late in life discovered her family secret, highlights the extension of slavery into the 20th century by means of cohersion. It was common across the south for the local sheriff to arrest blacks for whatever and put them out to farmers and businessmen to “work off” their sentence. What this book highlights is that it was also common for the more powerful whites to have black “mistresses” who were similarly cohersed into their position. The writer discovers this fact about her well off family and the hidden shame it carried for her grandmother, great aunts, etc. Of course it was worse than shame for the blacks.


                    6. As Enigma and Anon talk about 1944 and other history that no longer exists we have the news of the day in the Democratically run city of Chicago. These two are very silent on the death rate and shootings because it is their ideology mostly responsible for these terrible events.

                      7 fatally shot, 34 wounded in Chicago during Labor Day weekend gun violence
                      USA TODAY
                      Grace Hauck, USA TODAY
                      ,USA TODAY•September 3, 2019
                      CHICAGO – Gun violence over the Labor Day weekend left seven people dead and an additional 34 wounded in Chicago on the South and West Sides, according to police.

                      Two teenagers were among the weekend’s shooting fatalities, WLS-TV reports. They include 15-year-old Davantae Jackson, who was shot early Sunday just steps from the home where he lived. The teen was supposed to be starting high school Tuesday.

                      Jackson’s sister, Alexis Jackson, says her brother’s assailants called him on his phone and asked him to come outside before opening fire.

                      A Saturday shooting left two men, ages 32 and 26, dead after they were shot on the front porch of a home on Chicago’s South Side. That shooting also wounded three other people.


                    7. Very familiar with it. A fascinating read. The State of Florida finally apologized either early this year or last year for their role. The Sheriff that murdered one of the Four while transporting him and another that survived his shooting, stayed in office 21 additional years after commiting murder. The FBI covered up evidence of a bullet at the scene fired by a deputy.

                    8. The failure of policy which is making Chicago gangs so lethal are the lack of national gun laws as strict as Chicago’s.

                      “..Only 40 percent of the guns recovered in the city were purchased in Illinois, the report read, including hundreds purchased at gun shops outside city boundaries”

                      21% came from Indiana, with another 20% coming from places like MIssissippi and Wisconsin.


                      This blood is on GOP hands, which are fully owned by the NRA.

                    9. “hundreds purchased at gun shops outside city boundaries””

                      Not too bright. People buy gas outside their cities just to save on fuel tax. Anyway according to this bit of ignorance 13.6 people were shot with guns from Illonois over Labor day weekend, 34 in total with 7 killed. I think this type of logic and intelligence makes Anon capable to run for a Chicago leadership position so things will never change.

                    10. The failure of policy which is making Chicago gangs so lethal are the lack of national gun laws as strict as Chicago’s.

                      A statement both innocent of common sense and innocent of observational study of jurisdictions with (1) persistently low crime rates and (2) success in suppressing violent crime.

                      Liberals have no interest in actually undertaking serious efforts at improving public security. They are interested in striking attitudes and sticking the blame for slum crime with rural gun owners.

                      Liberals aren’t decent people.

                    11. anon’s new strategy copied from the tweeter of genius lori lightfoot: BLAME REPUBLICANS!

                      I “suspect” you’ll find scant few among the murder “suspects” in Chicago, year after year

                      but Lori’s blaming Indiana and Wisconsin Republicans

                      as if you can’t buy a gun in Illinois?

                      got news for ya guys: straw man sales are already illegal and have been for decades

                      being a repeat seller inside a year of firearms for profit also requires a license FFL and selling guns as a business for profit without one is also a crime and it has been for many long decades

                      more gun control is not needed. more bad person control is needed. lots of bad people in Chicago, evidently. So blame Indiana! Makes little sense to me, but I guess I’m dense

                    12. As noted in my post, 40% of traced guns used in Chicago crimes came from Illinois, mostly outside the city limits. Chicago’s gun laws are more strict than the state laws, and much stricter than places like Indiana and other popular markets serving gangs.

                      If the Trumpsters here want to use Chicago as a prop for …… what was their solution?………..they need to know the facts.

                    13. Chicago’s unconstitutional gun control law aka the Jane Byrne handgun licensing scheme is gone.

                      Chicago has an assault weapons ban

                      Not that it would matter to people that are already committing a more serious crime by murder

                      tons of ar 15s are sold every year in Chicago but it’s handguns that whack most victims I am sure

                      in fact not one of the most commonly used crime guns is actually of a type banned under current ordinance


                      so any fool would understand these laws make no difference and are bandaids but some people are lower than fools on this topic, they are flat out idiots

                      from the article:

                      ““Often there’s a misimpression about the importance of assault guns and assault weapons, and it’s important to point out how rare that is,” says Phillip Cook, an economist at Duke University who studies underground gun markets. “The guns being used in Chicago for crime and murder are by and large very ordinary pistols.”

                    14. excuse me i meant to say “tons of ar 15s are sold every year in ILLINOIS” not Chicago

                      point still stands

                    15. Illegal sales of guns and assault rifles are 2 separate problems. No one should confuse them, no matter what side you’re on.

                    16. Recognizing the past is an important step many won’t make. It is not necessary to accept personal responsibility for things we each individually had no control over, though how it still can mold the present and the future is our responsibility.

                  1. I don’t have any problem admitting factual things about history that people find “Racist” ie motivated by some sort of racial, national, ethnic, or tribal quest for power, because a) racial national tribal ethnic power-struggle was always the rule of history and b) it is actually the worldwide social norm of today, in spite of lipservice to some other shibboleths

                    i would say there is such a thing as taking all that too far, a form of idolatry of race or nation, which can be a bad thing, but it’s often a sliding scale based on the times and places in which the sentiments make themselves known through action

                    for my part, I don’t feel guilty about the conflicts of history, mostly I am glad i am here today, with whatever advantages I enjoy, such as having been born a white man in America. WIth no disrespect to my native American friends, I do not offer to return my land to the descendants of those who lived on it or possibly nearby 200 some years ago. If indeed they exist and such things could be proven or found, I would not offer any “reparations”

                    while some may consider this attitude, “Racist” in itself, it helps me calmly accept the proven truths about the miseries experienced by many slaves in history. There was a lot of misery to go around in the old days and there’s a lot around today, too.

                    When there is a shortage of misery? rare but boredom always takes its place. Ernst Junger said, “what is boredom if not pain attenuated in time”

            2. Vote? Hell, the only ones who could attend decent schools, use our public accommodations, drink from fountains, and be in city limits after sundown. Nah, why wouldn’t we trust them to be fair?

              1. You’ve mistaken James Loewen for a historian.

                That aside, the acquisition of the rudiments of culture was fairly rapid for the black population after 1865. The majority of adults were literate by 1900 and you had a modest (but visible) professional and business class by the 1920s, as well as autonomous production of popular culture and mass entertainment. By the mid 1920s, time enrolled in primary and secondary schools among the black youth population was about 35% lower than that for the remainder of the population but still considerable. By 1959, enrollment levels for primary and secondary schooling were about equal across the color bar, with blacks about 1/2 as likely to be attending post-secondary institutions (we’re speaking of the cohorts born around 1939 +/- x years). By 1977, about 6% of all baccalaureate degree awards were to black matriculants, lower than their share of the youth population, but higher than there share of youths whose performance scores on standardized tests put them above the 75th percentile of the youth population. Note, that the 1973 matriculants are now 63 years old and those not retired are older than 89% of the working population.

            3. Oh look, racism is alive and well in Birmingham
              Enigma, get on it, blow your bullhorn, grab you water hose, and denounce the racist blaque pig

              a black racist!?

              Say it aint so Joe!
              Cue Snopes Report to tell us how we have it all wrong, and its love, love, love



              Black Church Sign in Birmingham, Alabama: “A Black Vote for Trump Is Mental Illness, A White Vote for Trump is Pure Racism”

              This is the left at work today in America — spewing hatred and racism while offering nothing.

              A black pastor is defending a hateful sign displayed outside his Birmingham, Alabama Baptist church saying, “God motivates me to take a stand for what’s right.”

              On one side, the church sign reads in bold letters: “A black vote for Trump is mental illness.” On the other side it reads, “A white vote for Trump is pure racism.”

        4. “I’m not saying advanced programs shouldn’t exist. I am saying they need to have fair inclusionary practices. Is that too much to ask?”

          No, of course it’s a reasonable request. I find merit reasonable. The wall honored every graduate who had won the Nobel Prize or the Lasker Award. Since they were white males, then white males were on the wall.

          Graduates of distinction should be honored. A better solution would have been to expand the list of awards that were recognized. If you GOOGLE “notable alumni of Rockefeller University”, you get a bar at the top of the page, mainly with white men and women. I found one black woman, Associate Professor Mandë Holford who is fast becoming famous for her work on venomous snails. This is critical research, because of its possible application in cancer research. My money is actually on Dr Holford. She has not yet been recognized at the level of the wall, but I think she has potential to earn the Lasker Award, which is for significant contribution to medical science.

          Keep in mind that Rockefeller is a biomedical research facility. It was founded by the wealthy philanthropist John D Rockefeller, Sr after his grandson died of Scarlet Fever. So many children were lost to infectious diseases in that time. This was the first dedicated biomedical research facility, that I know of, and it was created from the wealth and philanthropy of capitalism. That is why the emphasis on the wall is the medical sciences. If there are not minorities on the wall, they are just not there yet. Science is the great equalizer in modern society. It’s not subjective, although evaluating accomplishment certainly can be. Provable. Repeatable. (When academia actually follows Good Documentation Processes.) When a paper is published, depending on the topic, it is questioned, probed for errors. Withstanding that process is an accomplishment.

          Graduates of note should be recognized, and the bar should be high so that achieving it means something.

  13. DeBlasio is a Corporatist who will do anything to increase his profile. This is as insane as his Education Chancellor’s chain that all whites are toxic if they disagree with him and that whites and Jews have no stories of value. DeBlasio is a pay to play mayor and the education department has been gutted by its new “leader” . It’s appalling. New York is being ill served.

  14. So the root cause for the lack of diversity in the Gifted & Talented Program is the existence of the Gifted & Talented Program. Get rid of the program and no more problem. See, this Mayor thing is not so difficult. I get the impression De Blasio knows he wouldn’t have been included in the G&T program and if he can be mayor of NYC, then the program is not necessary.

  15. I was bored to death in high school, finished the text book in a couple of weeks and then checked out, mostly causing trouble, annoying adults and amusing my friends. I either skipped classes altogether, slept through them, or messed around with the teacher, but they could not flunk me because I scored 100% on all of the tests. After school I enlisted in the Navy because I wanted nothing to do with more schooling. I suspect I am an example of why advanced classes, which we didn’t have back then, should exist.

  16. Does anyone want to take bets when JT will be called a “nazi” for pointing out such leftist logic…and along with his support for traditional free speech.

    Of course, actual nazis didn’t have a great record for supporting free speech but that doesn’t matter…you’re a “nazi” if you support free speech now.

    1. prolly has been already since he’s one of the few who points out how they lock people up for waving their hands wrongly in Germany these days

    2. Good comment . The dialectic system otherwise known as bouncing off the wall is something like this…I put this down so others wouldn’t worry about it so much.

      NAZI = National Socialist Labor Party. Along with International Socialists and Progressive Socialists one of the three offspring of Marxist Leninism

      They use a system called generalized reflective metaphors also known as redefine and reframe to dodge the question and then turn it into another question that diverts the conversation. This time they looked in the mirror of the DNC saw Nazis and mirror imaged the view into a new name other than their own by taking the sign marked center and placing it between Marx and Mussolini.

      Used by the ruling class of the classless society aka The Collective

      Those who bite get bitten the rest of us just get a good laugh at watching The Universal Empty Field Theory prove itself.

      1. nsdap national socialist german worker’s party not labor party
        it is not a spawn of Marxism. it was a syncretic mishmash of conservative revolutionary thought, fascism, and biological racism

        the conservative and fascist elements valorized labor as an integral part of the national social organism, but class conflict as such was firmly rejected. if there was a materialism in it, it was biological racist materalism, not dialectical materialism

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