Boston Suspends Advanced and Gifted Programs Over “Equity” Concerns

We recently discussed the condemnation of meritocracy in education as racist by one of the top officials in the San Francisco public school system. That position has fueled calls to end advanced or gifted programs around the country including in New York City.  Now, Boston has followed suit with a suspension of advanced learning program for its fourth, fifth and sixth graders. These measures will make our public schools less diverse over time in my view.While I do view the low number of minority students in such programs to be a serious problem, I have long opposed efforts to eliminate the programs or establish quota systems to rectify that problem. Students of all races benefit from such programs. While there is clearly less diversity, the best solution is not to eliminate such programs but to work harder in the earlier grades to allow minority students to excel (and ultimately gain admission to such programs).Nevertheless, according to WGBH and a few conservative sites, Superintendent Brenda Cassellius is calling for a one-year enrollment suspension of the Advanced Work Class due to both the pandemic and “concerns about equity.”  Cassellius said “There’s a lot of work we have to do in the district to be antiracist and have policies where all of our students have a fair shot at an equitable and excellent education.”

To be sure, the Boston system is facing a sharp contrast in the racial makeup of the program as opposed to the district at large. The district is 80 percent Black and Hispanic but 70 percent of the programs are white and Asian. However, denying those gifted students this option does not advance educational or diversity policies.  Greater diversity is possible but the focus should be on working to help minority children to excel despite what are often adverse conditions in the communities or at home.

Gifted programs and elite academic schools are designed to allow students to reach their full academic potential with other students performing at the highest level of math and other disciplines. It is often difficult for such students to reach that potential in conventional settings. Teachers have to keep their classes as a whole moving forward in subject areas. That often means that academically gifted children are held back by conventional curricula or lesson plans. Those students can actually underperform due to boredom or the lack of challenging material. Many simply leave the public school system.  Moreover, students tend to perform better with students progressing at their similar level. Teachers can then focus on a lesson plan and discussions that are tailored to students at a similar performance level.

These concerns should be particularly acute in Boston which has seen 40 percent of its student population chronically absent from classes.

Eliminating such programs creates a false “equity” by lobbing off the top performing programs.  That does not advance true diversity in my view.  In fairness to educators like Cassellius, these programs do siphon off staff and money. However, a touchstone of a public school system is that children of different needs and backgrounds can excel.  The minority of white and Asian students in the district reflects in part the exodus from public schools by such families due to mistrust in the commitment to such policies.  Suspending these programs will only accelerate such departures in my view.


328 thoughts on “Boston Suspends Advanced and Gifted Programs Over “Equity” Concerns”

  1. Let’s follow the logic of The Boston school system to a final result. It is given knowledge that people do not have equal learning capability. It must follow that if programs designed for students with more learning capability are discontinued then students at the next level down should also have their curriculum eliminated. The courses of study must eventually be tailored to the ability of the lowest performing students. It doesn’t take much foresight to predict that our totality of knowledge will be diminished by this social engineering. America has been a world leader in innovation. Just think about how innovation in medicine has affected the entire globe. How about our expertise in crop production and its effect on world hunger? The feel good policies of the Boston approach have far reaching consequences for the world. Boston’s actions may seem altruistic at first glance but will they in the long run help or hurt people? If their actions hurt more than they help it would seem that they should take a more conclusive look at how things would go and the effect on all peoples. With these things in mind it would be reasonable to question their motivations.

    1. Thinkit, until very recently in our history, there were no “advanced” classes for 4th graders, or even in high school, and none of what you predict was happening.

      1. When I was in elementary school in the 1960s, I was in a GATE class in NYC in 3rd grade. I expect that this varies a lot with location.

      2. I was in elementary school in the 1950s in 2 states, one in the NE and one in the south. there were no “advanced” classes. Since the school offered that I skip 6th grade – my parents decided against it because it would have put me in junior high that next year and I had not even hit puberty – I would have known about any advanced classes if they existed.

      3. AnonJoeFriday. So any development in education since you were a kid is some how not of value. We do things in education that will give our kids the greatest possibility to succeed in life. There were no seatbelts in our car when I was a kid. Does the use of a seatbelt now save lives? Eliminating advanced studies is like taking the seatbelts out of your car. Joe says well we didn’t have them then so we can do without them now. BUCKLE UP.

        1. Thinkit, you predict a decline in education if we return to practices prevalent through most of our history – my kids were in elementary school in the 80s, and no advanced classes then, high school yes – and call that return “social engineering”. The “social engineering” is picking winners and losers among our kids in 4th grade. This is bad practice for our kids and is questionable for our country.

          1. AnonJF,
            I agree. Perhaps it was eliminated because they realized that they’d lowered their expectations for the kids who didn’t get the magic number. While kids high above the mean should probably get more challenging work, that could probably be solved through project choices, independent learning, and free reading choices.

            The gifted programs in some schools are viewed as just extra busy work. I’d rather all kids be given higher expectations and then have teachers address the outliers.

      4. JoeFriday. We have had great advancements due to quality education. We boost our brightest because we know what they may contribute to the benefit of our society in the future. Must we now lower the level of support for the brightest to fulfill some unknown level of equality? Should we demand a slower pace of learning for our gifted children because we might hurt someone’s feelings. Perhaps someday we will nurture a child to reach his full potential and he or she will discover a cure for a killer virus. Perhaps that time is now.

        1. Thinkit, another personal story – Good friend I’ve known for 30 years fretted about his oldest boys academic achievement as he was growing up. He did get into the IB program (International Baccalaureate), which in our area is the most selective (We have some nationally very highly ranked high schools here). After a year or so he wasn’t doing well and dropped out. Much family concern of course. He is now an electrical engineer with a high paying job at the nation’s largest engineering firm and they are paying his way through the PhD program at Big State U (which has a highly ranked engineering school).

          Another kid who was my son’s best friend, bombed out of IB and decided he was a dummie. His life isn’t a tragedy, but he hasn’t done much with it either and the blow to self esteem may or may not have been contributing. The point is testing is not perfect, and more importantly, kids learn in different ways.There is a down side to this for even those selected.

          1. AnonJoeFriday, you give us two antidotes as proof that advanced educational programs do not work. I saw two men working on a construction sight without hard hats and they did not get hurt. Therefore, hard hats are not an important safety device. Two antidotes are your justification for dumbing down the education of the gifted. Why should we have an endowment for the arts? Why should we have any kind of organization that helps our young people to succeed. There will always be people who will not succeed in programs set up to help them. Because some people drop out of school should we then eliminate school all together because it didn’t work for some students? Should we discontinue the programs that help gifted black children because some black children drop out of the program? Is your goal to enlighten us or to present a contrary position in every instance? The testimony is in your posts.

            1. Thinkit, you miss the point that those 2 anecdotes were from a very small sample, namely people who I know very well.

              I’m all for efforts to help young people succeed, but sorting them into winners and losers in 4th grade isn’t one of them. I’m OK with advanced classes in high school, even if – like my 2 examples – not perfect. My kids benefited greatly from them.

          2. Don’t measure kids just by their academic attainments. At the same time, don’t hold the kids back who can attain higher. help them.

            Vocational education is frowned upon. I just don’t get that. It’s partly because of false consciousness among social climbers

            it’s an entirely honorable vocation to work with the hands, whether it’s as a mechanic, electrician, welder, construction, landscaping, whatever. But people need a vocation to earn money and pitch in to society.

            Not everybody is suited for academics, some are suited up to a point. Valid and accurate testing should help sort people out, not only for their own benefit, but the benefit of society.

            Finally, I observe, some people are not suited to academics, not for want of intellectual capacity, but because they can’t sit still all day listening to boring teachers and repeating rote tasks that are unrewarding. I know more than one smart kid who flunked out. Almost all of them were boys. this tells you something. Both in private and public schools, the school-marms seem to have it in for the boys. They’re pushing them down. This is some kind of emergent gynaeocracy we live in, and it stinks. I could care less if the feminists like this opinion, I am sure they won’t, and I will never moderate my perception of the truth just to please them. They need to be restrained in how badly they damage our young boys with their arrogance and mischief.

            Sal Sar

  2. I’m really sick and tired of people blaming “the system” for the fact minorities don’t perform as well overall and that if white people just shoulder the blame and do more in time they will be on equal footing with their white peers academically. Isn’t 50 years of throwing money and platitudes at the “problem” enough to prove this is a fallacy?

      1. A good argument for making sure that poor kids and pregnant women can afford good nutrition and that we don’t incarcerate people for things like marijuana possession, because the side-effect of taking parents away from their kids has a much bigger negative effect on society than the drug use does.

        1. A good argument for making sure that poor kids and pregnant women can afford good nutrition and that we don’t incarcerate people for things like marijuana possession,

          We incarcerate almost no one for marijuana possession and malnutrition is not a problem in black populations.

            1. The question is first whether or not anonymous knows what malnutrition is. His immediate link tells us he has little understanding of the question. One can be rich fat and malnourished. One can also have an illness causing malnutrition.

          1. Art– “”malnutrition is not a problem in black populations.”


            True. The problems are obesity and diabetes coupled with drug and alcohol abuse. All of it avoidable but we aren’t well received when we tell someone she is too fat and it is killing her.

                1. Yes, a nonsense concept created to allow more useless government trough-feeding bureaucrats in government programs.

                  1. I think it was probably invented by lobbies like the Children’s Defense Fund. A generation ago, RM Kaus used to flay these people for their PR scams.

                  1. S. Meyer stalks people who post comments anonymously, when he could simply ignore them. No self-restraint on S. Meyer’s part.

                    1. Anonymous, do you know what the word restraint means? Apparently not based on all your responses on this thread and on another thread to John Say.

                2. I think it is what they used to call hunger. the problem is, we don’t really have hunger now. we have an abundance of garbage foods that are satisfying cheap and yet poor nutrition.

                  the people who cobble these new phrases together are often fakes as you say, grifting to gin up support for a new goobermint program

                  however, there is a real food insecurity that can come, and may very well come, which relates to an inability of a dense nation with a poor industrial base to feed itself. a nation like the UK or Japan could face some serious food insecurity in a very short time, if either the mechanisms of international trade, or the vehicles of it, ground to a halt

                  and indeed how precisely could the world of 8 billion feed itself, were it not for the use of fossil fuels in agriculture?

                  the short answer is, it could not

                  and so we may ask, why do the green advocates want us to transition away from fossil fuels? Wont that put entire nations at risk of “food insecurity?”

                  Why, yes., It will. But that is not the unintended goal– that is precisely, the intended outcome

                  Because what follows on national food insecurity, is famine. And mass death.

                  And that will help them get to their lower emissions, not just from an end to big herds of cows to feed the customers of mcdonalds around the world, but lower energy consumption from all the other activities of 8 billions of humanity– IN WHICH DEVELOPED NATIONS LIKE JAPAN AND UK SUCK UP MORE FOSSIL FUELS PER CAPITA THAN ANYBODY

                  And so. We come again to a logical quandry. Do the “climate change activists” actually intend to depopulate the world? Because then it would make sense.

                  What is the answer? Some of them are not hiding it. Do the math!


                  These fine fellow are quite generous. They are only saying, 2/3 of us must die, to reach their utopia of sustainability — which means precisely, that “net zero carbon emissions steady state economy!”

                  Sal Sar

                  1. “I think it is what they used to call hunger.” and then you answer the question “the problem is, we don’t really have hunger now.” Sal, in other words they had to invent a new problem or disappear like private businesses do when what they do is no longer needed (ie destructive innovation)

                    I think these are generally telephone surveys. If they called me they would label me as ‘food insecure’ because I am always worried Instacart won’t show up. If it weren’t for these phrases government would shrink and anonymous #1a, #1b #1c, etc. would have nothing to argue about.

                    1. Indeed Kurtz, the meaning of declining population with better health care and prosperity has been explained to you several times now. You don;t refute it – it’s a fact. how could you – but keep repeating the same nonsense with Bill Gates as your boogey man. WTF?

                  2. “and indeed how precisely could the world of 8 billion feed itself, were it not for the use of fossil fuels in agriculture? the short answer is, it could not”

                    Joel Salatin thinks regenerative agriculture could. I would like to agree with him, but I am hesitant. It would take a boatload more farmers, better use of land and green spaces. I think it is an interesting question worth exploring further.

                    1. dont worry prarie rose. the guy who says we should eat test tube meat, the guy who says better health care worldwide will lead to a 10-15% decline in population somehow, the guy who you been paying for his MSFT products for decades, Bill Gates, is also now the largest owner of farmland in the USA

                      MASTER BILL HAS PLANS FOR US ALL.

                      Sal Sar

                  3. Sal, why do you continue lying, claiming that Bill Gates “says better health care worldwide will lead to a 10-15% decline in population”?

                    I already pointed out to you that if you listen to the quote in context, he is NOT talking about a 10-15% decline in total population. If X was the population at the time he said it and Y was the growth before hitting the maximum, he was talking about Y being 10-15% smaller than it might be otherwise. (You, however, keep saying that he’s talking about X being 10-15% smaller. To be clear, X is a much larger number than Y.)

                    Is your math good enough to understand the difference between what you keep falsely insisting on and what Gates actually meant?

              1. The first problem anonymous faces is defining what ‘food insecurity’ means. 1 in 4 is meaningless without knowing what one is talking about.

                If one did a survey at the beginning of the lockdowns they might have found a lot of homebound elderly had food insecurity. Take note how these sly terms are used to confuse those without basic knowledge of the subject matter. Then a journalist that may be one of those individuals writes an article that wins a Pulitzer because the article appealed to the emotions rather than science or common sense.

                1. If I’m not mistaken, about 55% of those whose income qualifies them for SNAP do not bother signing up for the program; I tend to doubt malnutrition is a common problem among those in the least affluent 30%. The mean per capita benefit is about $130 per month, or about $1,500 a year. If I’m not mistaken, per capita expenditure on food consumed at home in this country is around $3,000 per year, so the SNAP program picks up about 1/2 the cost of an average household’s monthly grocery bill. Households with children can also qualify for meals provided at school financed by the federal Department of Education. Malnutrition is a problem for drug addicts and vagrants, not run-of-the-mill slum dwellers.

                2. The first problem Allan faces is looking up the meaning of phrases when he doesn’t know the definition.

                  1. It wouldn’t occur to you that others know what you don’t know. These phrases are continuously altered because the appropriate answer to the original phrase made people look stupid. It is thought that changing the wording a bit would help. It didn’t. People still look stupid.

                    Apparently you are ignorant of what the words “food insecurity” means.

                    1. I suspect the whole point of the term ‘food insecurity’ is that it actually lacks a fixed meaning. It’s a rhetorical thrust.

            1. I don’t think alcoholism is particularly common among blacks. Not sure drug-abuse-in-general is either. Particular drugs have in the past had a disproportionately black consumer base (heroin, crack cocaine). You can see here that blacks do not constitute an abnormal share of opioid deaths.


              Obesity and diabetes are rampant among blacks.

              1. Art, what I found interesting was that the % was quite high in predictable states yet over the nation 13%. I think that might be telling us something that is important.

            2. Young,
              “The problems are obesity and diabetes coupled with drug and alcohol abuse.”

              Poor nutrition causes the obesity and diabetes–they are diseases related to micronutrient malnutrition. Insufficient magnesium and zinc status impairs blood glucose regulation, for instance.

              Drug and alcohol abuse also depletes nutrients. Alcoholics are quite often zinc deficient. Diabetes and obesity often have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which essentially tanks the liver just the way alcohol does. Cirrhosis without getting drunk. Dr. Robert Lustig talks about this in Sugar: The Bitter Truth:

          2. Art,
            About 50% of impoverished kids are obese. Obesity has a malnutrition element. A high percentage of the Black population is impoverished. So, while the malnutrition is not the overt kind that results in rickets, scurvy, or beriberi, it does result in other chronic health problems.

            1. You’re confused. Personal income per capita among black Americans (pre-tax) is about 62% of that of non-black Americans. In real terms it approximates that of non-black Americans ca. 1995. It approximates the average in New Zealand, the Czech Republic, and Israel. Black Americans are not an impoverished population by any geographic or historical yardstick.

              In 1929, personal disposable income per capita (in real terms) was 15% of what it was in 2019. It was 23% of the black American mean in 2019.

              IIRC, studies of those drafted in the military during the 2d World War showed that about 1/4 had indicia of a period of malnutrition in their past. The median year of birth among WWii conscripts was around 1918, so a typical recruit would have been at the midpoint of their upbringing ca. 1929 (then faced some lean years during the Depression). Black Americans today have mean income levels (in real terms) > 4x those of what the typical WWii conscript experienced in his formative years. The notion that malnutrition is rampant in black populations and explains the differential in school performance or the differential in the perpetration of violent crime beggars belief.

              1. Art: ” The notion that malnutrition is rampant in black populations and explains the differential in school performance or the differential in the perpetration of violent crime beggars belief.”


                On the other hand an average IQ of 85 [about half below that] and a criminal culture [Rap for example, extolling crime] could explain a lot of it.

              2. Art,
                I have never argued that poor nutrition is THE explanation for the differential in school performance. It is a piece of the problem. I also haven’t been particularly focused on race either. Poor kids in poverty of any race are affected by poor nutrition.

                Foods changed after WWII. While there was definitely overt malnutrition prior to WWII, the percent of the population that was obese was significantly lower than it is today. Same for type II diabetes–those rates were extremely low; it’s called type II diabetes now rather than adult-onset because so many kids are now affected. Poverty tracks with obesity. Obesity has a micronutrient malnutrition component.

                Considering there are over 8 million impoverished Blacks today (~20% of the population vs. 9% for whites), that represents a large part of the population–nearly 1/4!


                While income may play a small role in food selection, so do habits, education, and culture. I have some interesting research on that, but I’ll have to track it down.

                Poor educational performance also has a variety of components, of which poor nutrition plays a role. However, there are other elements, such as family stability, chemical exposure, family and community expectations, etc.

                1. THE explanation for the differential in school performance. It is a piece of the problem.

                  After which you give us word salad.

                  Considering there are over 8 million impoverished Blacks today (~20% of the population vs. 9% for whites), that represents a large part of the population–nearly 1/4!

                  Again, the ‘poverty rate’ as used by public agencies is not a trustworthy metric.

                  Poor educational performance also has a variety of components, of which poor nutrition plays a role.

                  IIRC, in the last 50 years, the % of household incomes spent on food consumed at home fell from 16% to about 6%. People have plenty of margin to ‘improve’ their nutrition if that’s actually a problem. Show me the effect on school performance.

                  1. Art Deco x 4 says:March 4, 2021 at 3:39 PM to Prairie Rose:

                    “THE explanation for the differential in school performance. It is a piece of the problem.

                    After which you give us word salad.”



                    Where’s the blog monitor? S. Meyer/Allan/Beanie-boy (also Anon when he wants to be) must be napping.

                    1. Baby anonymous is crying for the blog monitor. Can anyone sound more stupid?

                    2. I see that you missed the joke. The March 4, 2021 at 3:54 PM Anon. was referring too S. Meyer/Allan/Beanie-boy as the blog monitor.

                    3. “I see that you missed the joke.”

                      Was that before or after Cuomo cooked the books so no one would know he was killing seniors?

                    4. S. Meyer / Allan / Beanie-boy / Anon — the “blog monitor” — is up and at ’em, stalking people who comment anonymously. He has important work to do every day. /sarc

                    5. The work is not work and the comments are of issues that I find important such as Cuomo killing seniors and others applauding his Emmy.

                  2. Art,
                    I will try to respond tomorrow. I am very tired, having burned the candle at both ends too many days in a row.

                    1. Art,
                      You wrote:
                      “IIRC, studies of those drafted in the military during the 2d World War showed that about 1/4 had indicia of a period of malnutrition in their past. The median year of birth among WWii conscripts was around 1918, so a typical recruit would have been at the midpoint of their upbringing ca. 1929 (then faced some lean years during the Depression). Black Americans today have mean income levels (in real terms) > 4x those of what the typical WWii conscript experienced in his formative years. The notion that malnutrition is rampant in black populations and explains the differential in school performance or the differential in the perpetration of violent crime beggars belief.”

                      So I responded in relation to issues following WWII. You are right; my answer was not as tight as it could have been (though it did not rise to the level of word salad). I reassert that poor nutrition is not the full explanation but it is one piece in a complicated problem.

                      The income isn’t really the point; though, you are correct that we spend significantly less on food as a percentage of income than we did prior to WWII. Some of that has to do with how foods are produced and manufactured and subsidized. Following WWII the types of foods consumed also began to rapidly shift into canned and convenience foods. They were touted as ‘more scientific’ and therefore better. Considering a boatload of ladies had been steered into very scientific Home Ec degrees back in the 1940s and 1950s, it’s no wonder many fell for the hype. The 1950s and later recipe books often feature casseroles of combined canned or processed foods. People shifted what they ate. Sugar consumption began to go up significantly, especially, it seems, after the introduction of high fructose corn syrup in the late 70s/early 80s. The book Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss examines the effect processed foods has on our brains and our bodies. Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories also examines the changes in foods and nutrition research, too.

                    2. Art,
                      This is going to happen in parts, it seems. Please bear with me.

                      The malnutrition that many people face today (not just Blacks, not just the poor) is not the overt kind; it rides along insufficiencies or in a subclinical nature. The types of food people choose to eat does differ between income demographics.

                      “Education appears to be the most important factor in predicting diet quality in this HANDLS sample. However, the effect of race cannot be discounted. Whether the racial differences in diet quality are indicative of cultural differences in food selection and preparation or of differences in SES remains unclear. Since these discrepancies in diet quality may be a contributing factor to the health disparities documented between African Americans and whites, action to help eliminate these differences is necessary as the minority populations in the US continue to grow. Culturally appropriate nutrition education to both African Americans and whites, particularly messages aimed at individuals with less than a high school education would be beneficial to improving diet quality in urban areas of low SES.”

                      J Natl Med Assoc. 2010 October. “The effect of race and predictors of socioeconomic status on diet quality in the Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span (HANDLS) study sample.” Raffensperger, S, Kuczmarski, M., et al.
                      “Yet studies have also found evidence of the ‘‘two faces of malnutrition’’ [3]: obesity and undernutrition co-occurring in the same households. Poor nutrition among impoverished groups can result in intake of both insufficient nutrition and excess calories (particularly from cheap, non-nutritious foods).”

                      Stuckler D, McKee M, Ebrahim S, Basu S (June 2012) Manufacturing Epidemics: The Role of Global Producers in Increased Consumption of Unhealthy Commodities Including Processed Foods, Alcohol, and Tobacco. PLoS Med 9(6)

                      I think I have noted elsewhere that there can be a normal serum value for magnesium but a deficient total status. This is also likely to be true for other micronutrients that are also stored in tissues, muscles, and bones. This would coincide with the undernutrition mentioned above. If intake or absorption of micronutrients is inadequate, then the body will start pulling from storage, leading to a general insufficiency (which is what many of us did during lockdown—couldn’t go to the grocery store so the pantry started getting depleted more than usual).

                    3. Art,
                      “Among all income levels, education had a much greater impact on household produce purchases than did income. Controlling for income, college­ educated households had the highest level of per capita fruit and vegetable expenditures ($5.99 per person per week versus $4.25 for households headed by a high­ school­ only graduate)”

                      “Understanding Economic and Behavioral Influences on Fruit and Vegetable Choices” Guthrie, J., et al. USDA Economic Research Service. April 2005.

                    4. I will see if WordPress is less of a glutton tomorrow. Posts are still vanishing into its maw. Sigh.

        2. Anon– “the side-effect of taking parents away from their kids has a much bigger negative effect on society than the drug use does.”
          I haven’t seen many instances of child services going into the ghetto to grab kids. I think they are afraid. But because the father is unknown or has chosen to be absent and the mother is useless a fair number of black kids end up with grandmother.

          I think you have spent too much time in sociology classes.

          1. The first half of the sentence that you cut off makes it clear that I was talking about parents being taken from kids via incarceration. Incarceration is not “cho[osing] to be absent.”

            1. Yes, I know, and that is why I referred to fathers who “had chosen to be absent”. It’s a culture you haven’t seen close up. Men boast of having several women and children by many of them. The taxpayer picks up the tab. Years ago I asked one who boasted of having 16 kids how he supported them. He laughed at my foolish thought; he didn’t support any of them. If he went to jail the kids wouldn’t notice. He wasn’t a presence in their lives. You would learn more on the streets than sociology class but you might get hurt.

              1. “It’s a culture you haven’t seen close up.”

                Only a presumptuous person would claim to know what I’ve seen up close when you know nothing about my life.

                1. Anonymous, what you write and how you write it tells a lot of people more about your life than you think.

                2. If you had seen it close up you wouldn’t still be this clueless. I know that about your life.

                    1. Anon “So, Young, do you consider yourself clueless?”


                      In many things, Anonymous.

                  1. I wasn’t talking about “many things,” Young, I was asking you whether you consider yourself clueless about Black culture.

                    You claimed “It’s a culture you haven’t seen close up. … If you had seen it close up you wouldn’t still be this clueless.”

                    So are YOU clueless about it?

          2. In New York, about 25,000 youngsters are enrolled in the foster care system. That’s out of a juvenile population of > 4 million. Even in the slums, the % of mothers who have a child in the system is in the single digits. (The number of slum children in the system consequent to one of the parents being jailed on drug charges likely doesn’t break into five digits. Note, > 90% of those in prison are men, custodial fathers are atypical in slum jurisdictions, and mothers who get busted for being involved in the drug trade aren’t the best bet for quality mothering).

      2. Studies have shown that the IQ of white criminals in prison centers around 90.
        Almost no prisoners 110 and up. (Criminals may exist, but not end up in prison very often.)

        1. Most white criminals are not very bright but once in awhile you come across one who is smart and a sociopath.

          1. I saw some data from the New York Department of Corrections which indicated that a stupefyingly low % of inmates have a tertiary degree of some sort. I’ve forgotten the share, but I think it was low single digits and near zero.

            I suspect smart guys in prison tend to be those enmeshed in organized crime (and recall the number of ‘made guys’ in the Sicilianate mafia ca. 1985 was fewer than 2,000) or are people sent up for fraud or embezzlement. That’s more something you’d expect to see in a federal prison as opposed to a state prison. The one family in our circle of friends who saw a child of their’s sent up are prosperous working people now retired. Their son was convicted of a sex offense ((on fairly sketchy evidence, IMO) and served a multi-year prison sentence. He had part of a degree ‘ere he went in and finished it with correspondence courses.

            1. Do a spell of criminal defense work and once in a while you will meet someone who is smart, engaging, sometimes reckless, and has little or no conscience. They are interesting but like being around a purring panther. You never know when they might bite. Contrary to the general impression, raw intelligence is not dependent on having degrees.

                1. When you deal with criminals it is usually one or two at a time, not population aggregates.

    1. I think it’s more likely this is a principal-agent problem. Someone a few layers distant from Melinda Gates puked some of their money in a stupid project.

  3. Let me see. How shall I say this? How can I make this understandable? Communication is often so problematic. Oh, I know! Try this:

    America must get rid of its ——- communists.

    There. I’ve done it. That pretty much sums it up, don’t you think?

    No, really.

    Don’t you think?

    1. Anon @ 5:14 sees “communists”… Communist, communists, communists. Communists, everywhere.

      “America must get rid of its ——- communists.”

      What Anon @ 5:14 is proposing is divisive and dangerous.

      1. What Anon @ 5:14 is proposing is divisive and dangerous.

        Divisive? Yes, in a good way. Communism is an active threat to our national security.

        Dangerous? To get rid of threat to our national security? Nope. I served in the Navy to actively “getting rid” of threats to our national security; specifically communists. They are welcome to exist peacefully in this country under our rule of law. The only way it becomes dangerous for them is by the choices they make. Just like everyone else.

        1. Olly…..I agree!
          When I was young and stupid, I schlepped(sp?) around far and wide in a miniskirt, headband, love beads, flashing the peace sign, with a Free Angela Davis bumper sticker on my car. At that same time, my FBI agent brother sat in shrubbery, night after night, surveilling the SDS in their digs.
          When the 1960’s and early 70’s were finally over, he retired from the Bureau, and.sat me down, told me some personal stories and said..” Cindy, there. really were communists in the SDS/Weather Underground”.
          Of course everyone knew, but you were mocked if you admitted it.

          1. PS…….I know I’ve told that story before, but wanted to repeat it, just in case we have some new recruits tuning in. 😎

          2. Hi Cindy!

            Interesting story about your brother.

            I recall a conversation with a local leader about 15 years back. I asked him why he didn’t speak out & warn people of what he knew of the dangers of vaccines.

            He told me he only lacked 2 or 3 years to retire with his pension & if he said anything the medical industrial complex would destroy him.

            I understood.

            Looking back back I think many/most of us make compromises we wish we didn’t make.

            IE: (Get rid of pension plans, pay people up front everything & tell them where to get their own plan. It might help?)

            What about our Paul from Arizona? I miss seeing him around.

            1. Oky1……hey, kid! I just left you a message downstream!
              Don’t know where Paul is……I miss him too.
              Take care!

          3. Thanks Cindy. What a contrast in personalities. My closest sister went to UW-Madison and never left the area. She became an executive for American Girl and then retired. Her husband rose through the ranks of the state prison system administration and then retired. As long as I can remember, they have been admitted Socialists. I’m not even sure how that works for them.

            1. Olly,
              “She became an executive for American Girl and then retired.”

              We loved American Girl. Something happened to them after they got bought by Mattel, though. They got too commercial and lost focus on the history element of them that made the dolls interesting and special. I’m glad my family got to enjoy the ‘old school’ dolls when I was a kid.

      2. Communism? Oh, you betcha!

        America is communist because of the singular failure of the judicial branch, with emphasis on the Supreme Court, most individual Justices of which should have been impeached and convicted for dereliction, gross negligence, abuse of power, usurpation of executive and legislative power, et al. long ago.

        The entire communistic American welfare state is unconstitutional, including but not limited to, affirmative action, quotas, welfare, food stamps, rent control, social services, forced busing, minimum wage, utility subsidies, WIC, TANF, SNAP, HAMP, HARP, TARP, Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Labor, Energy, Obamacare, Social Security, Social Security Disability, Social Security Supplemental Income, Medicare, Medicaid, “Fair Housing” laws, “Non-Discrimination” laws, etc.

        Article 1, Section 8, provides Congress the power to tax ONLY for “…general Welfare…,” omitting and, thereby, excluding any power to tax for individual or specific welfare, redistribution of wealth or charity. The same article provides Congress the power to regulate ONLY money, the “flow” of commerce and land and naval Forces. Additionally, the 5th Amendment right to private property is not qualified by the Constitution and is, therefore, absolute, allowing Congress no power to claim or exercise dominion over private property, the sole exception being the full taking of property under the principle of eminent domain.

        Government exists to provide maximal freedom to individuals while it is severely limited and restricted to merely facilitating that maximal freedom of individuals through the provision of security and infrastructure.

        Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto 59 years after the adoption of the Constitution because none of the principles of the Communist Manifesto were in the Constitution. Had the principles of the Communist Manifesto been in the Constitution, Karl Marx would have had no reason to write the Communist Manifesto. The principles of the Communist Manifesto were not in the Constitution then and the principles of the Communist Manifesto are not in the Constitution now.

  4. This will make anonymity on the internet a thing of the past. Why isn’t this front page news?

    According to Microsoft, the coalition was created for a single purpose: to stop the spread of “disinformation” — which, in modern establishment journo-speak, means information that challenges establishment narratives. Disinformation, based on how the word is used today, might as well be called dissident information.

    According to Microsoft’s press release, the coalition has been established “to address the prevalence of disinformation, misinformation and online content fraud through developing technical standards for certifying the source and history or provenance of media content.”

  5. Jonathan: Rather then talk about “Boston Public Schools” I would like to address your previous column “Philosophy Professor Faces Call for his Firing After he Attended Trump Rally”. I agree that the professor should not be fired. That said, I read Professor Hochshild’s entire column “Once Upon a Presidency” in which he describes how he was converted into a Trump acolyte. He admits he was a disaffected voter, looking for an alternative in the 2016 election. He found that alternative in Trump who Hochschild says “shows an attractive charisma, fighting spirit” and “even his imperfections–‘incivility’, strange mannerisms, shamelessness, a less respectable past–seem to be, part of his energy, his dynamism”… “In substance, was well as style, he seems, well populist”. Hochschild had to overlook a lot to vote for Trump not just once but twice. He had to overlook Trump’s real “imperfections”–his racism and appeals to White grievances, his constant lying, the promises he didn’t keep, his authoritarian style that ignored constitutional norms and his corruption. Trump was and is no “populist”. Hochschild overlooked all this because he still is a true believer. He drank the Trump cool-aid.

    It’s logical Hochschild would want to show his support for Trump’s by attending the rally on Jan. 6 the purpose of which to stop the certification of the Electoral College vote. Never mind the Constitution. This was war and many in the crowd were ready for a “trial by combat” as Rudy Giuliani put it.
    And this is where Hochshild’s narrative breaks down and distorts what actually happened. He says the crowd was “cheerful and patriotic, generous and civic-minded, orderly and polite”. Apparently, the professor didn’t see what most of the rest of us saw on TV–a raucous crowd shouting “Stop the Steal”, “Hang Mike Pence”, armed to the teeth and wearing combat gear. Hochshild apparently didn’t see the t-shirts that read: “6 million is not enough” and “Camp.Auschwitz”. Or maybe he did because he then proceeded down Pennsylvania Ave. with the protesters to the Capitol and describes what he saw: “…you saw police letting people get closer to the Capitol building, letting people gather at the steps, letting them in the building”. That’s clearly is not what happened. The Capitol police were not “letting” the mob do anything. They were trying to fight back against the mob and only retreated because they were vastly outnumbered. They certainly didn’t “let” the rioters inside the building.

    Despite Hochschild’s false narrative about what happened on Jan. 6 he should not be fired. That would satisfy many students, faculty and alumni at Mount St. Mary’s University but it would not solve the problem. Hochshild needs to be confronted. If I were a student in one of the professor’s philosophy classes I would stand up and challenge him to explain how a seemly mild-mannered professor of medieval logic and metaphysics could make common cause with racists and anti-semites who wanted to overturn the government to keep Trump in power. Now that dialogue would be faithful to spirit of Aristotelian logic –something the professor apparently knows a lot about.

      1. “Tell us…” This from Anon @ 3:29 PM

        Why should anyone have to “tell” you…when you obviously already know…

        You might want to clean up. You’re disgusting.

    1. Were you unable to find the correct column to post this hateful rant? You are fearful any political view with which you do not agree; so you display your vocabulary (or use Roget’s) in an attempt to disguie your fear and hatred; even Aristotle sneaks into your epistle.

      1. “It’s logical Hochschild would want to show his support for Trump’s by attending the rally on Jan. 6 the purpose of which to stop the certification of the Electoral College vote. Never mind the Constitution. ”

        The Stockholm Syndrome is very strong in imbeciles like those posters that can’t read & comprehend the US Constitution:

        Article 2 Section 1 Clause 2 | Constitution Annotated …
        [Search domain]
        Article II . Section 1. Clause 2; Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United …

        Further those imbeciles seem as foolish as FBI Dir Wray as to point blank lie to the US Congress:

        Wray Says No Evidence Antifa, Left-Wing Groups Played a Role in January 6 Capitol Riot (VIDEO)

        What Anti-American Commie-Fascist pieces of Crap! And what about their FBI Handlers, part of it is already public & the rest will likely be coming out & we’ll all see it.

    2. “. . . make common cause with racists and anti-semites . . .”

      An Aristotelian would dismiss your argument as an association fallacy.

  6. The very reason i encouraged my daughter who is now a Psychiatrist in child eating disorders to GED out of the local high school use the JC as a year round fast way to get into a University. She had a BS at age 18 Masters at 18 and Doctorate at 20. Stated that move got her out a boring rut rut and never missed a prom or a game at the local High School. Where I live now the brighter students routinely finish high school/secondary at 15, get their first B accalaureate at 18.

    When my oldestr asked why she did it that way she replied, “don’t need to go to High school to go to a prom. or play games. Parents who fall for that high school at 18 stuff are just cheating their children so they can go watch Friday Night Lights.

    1. Schools that stifle children are usually just after more government money which is based on attendance not on education.

    2. Great for your Kid.

      More people should move towards a better way schooling.

      My son got part of that type move on up.

      1. Oky1……..great to see ya…….hope you and your wife are well!

        One bummer because of covid has been the cancellations of Natives and their yearly pow wows! Really want to take my grandsons.
        Only the older one has seen the Corn Dance in, person.
        Take care.

        1. I’ll have to check out tonight, but I see your post after falling asleep in thios chair again. lol. … Stomp dances/Pow Wows… I’ll try to pull some stuff up on the Supernaw Indian Store, Skiatook Ok & a bit of other stuff. All, a lot of, that Fancy Dance Clothing is sold there. (investing in Art anyone? it’s there) ( & I still owe you a picture of that White Buffalo.)

          I see the Texas Gov has been forced by good sense, the people of Texas/ it’s gov sees NY’s/Cali’s govs, to open Texas up with no mask. I’m glad to see this as I’ve a bit of trouble breathing at times let alone with a mask. Maybe everyone can get back into med facilities now to further ck things out.

          Our daffodils are now near bloomer to welcome us all here back from winter & into spring again. It seems one can never plant to many.

          1. Oky1……….beautiful poem and excerpt. Thank you………” I know you belong to the land, and the land you belong to is grand!”
            Sure do miss it.

  7. I’m dating myself but when I was in grade school, we had reading groups based on current skill. Each group had reading assignments geared to improving performance and enabling moving up to the next group. Most everyone moved up at least one group. I can’t imagine forcing all the kids to be in the same reading group–the least capable would take up more time so there’d be no improvement for the upper groups. I look at gifted programs the same way–we must always give opportunity to anyone of any race to excel.

    1. I’m dating myself, also. My grade schools also had reading and math groups based on current skills. They worked very well and left no kid behind.

    1. Yep, students should have great faith in an unaccredited college with a slowly loading website where “Every student will graduate with two bachelor’s degrees: A B.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences, and either a B.A. in Entrepreneurial Business or a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.”

      That “real world STEM training” apparently doesn’t include the possibility of majoring in any STEM field except ME.

  8. Dumb em down, drain em dry. Thank a politician. Especially thank the Democrats/Communists who love the poor and drugged up they make millions more

    1. Judith, we’re talking about herding 4th graders into the select and the damned. Not good for either group. If you don;t think there are attendant social pressures with this – I experienced with our kids much later in high school – you don’t have kids.

      1. No, it’s not “the damned.”

        It’s not good for either group to have the gifted and the behind in the same class. Neither gets the instruction they need. Gifted is different than simply grasping grade level. Those who are behind need extra help to catch up, those who are at grade level need to proceed on pace, and those who are gifted need to be really challenged.

        I’m related to an academic, internationally well known in his field, who told me it was a near thing between being a juvenile delinquent and sticking with education. He said he was so bored that his mind would come up with devious, disruptive ways to be entertained. He considered dropping out and picking up a trade. It came as a surprise to him to discover that the more advanced topics really piqued his interest. He’d always thought school was boring and pointless.

        Don’t convince students that school is boring and pointless. There is no one size fits all for students of any grade.

        1. Karen, even in high school there were judgements made by the students about themselves and others based on making or not advanced classes, and “damned” is only a slight exaggeration of what many – and their parents – felt. Others made the highest level and then couldn’t keep up and one of my sons best friends became convinced he was dumb, and to this day, has not made much of his life. Maybe not related. Maybe.

          1. Such is life in the real world, where everyone is not the same – whether academically, athletically, musically, artistically, etc. That’s life!! Learn to live with not-everyone-gets-a-trophy. Down the road, the workplace cannot afford to hire, promote, or otherwise “reward” someone less able to do a job in a hunt for “equity.”

  9. Off topic:. ElizExit. The Brits have to remove the royal family from any role in their nation.
    I’m sick of reading about “Harry” and the rest and I hate the photos all over the news.

  10. More confirmation that in most cases the K-12 Public School economic and social costs do not equal educational outcomes. Why ? One of the major root causes for this mess are the teacher unions.

  11. Getting rid of meritocracy and gifted programs, or underperforming public schools leads to the exodus of families of all races who value education. Anyone who wants the best future for their children seeks out the best schools they can. Clearly, that’s not in the Boston area.

    Wanting what’s best for your child’s education is not racist. It’s not a flaw. It’s good parenting.

    40% of Boston students are chronically absent is a problem. The response to lump in students who care about education in with the students who don’t clearly priorities social justice over education. This was predicted for years.

    If you actually want to improve a demographic, address the truancy and lack of education support at home.

    1. Karen, according to JT, this is about advanced classes for 4th through 6th graders.


      I think you’re on the wrong high horse.

      1. Why? Don’t you believe there are advanced students in 4th through 6th grade? I learned to read at home and was a reading books when they were still teaching the alphabet. I took Gate classes in elementary school. There was a 3rd grader in my son’s class who took math classes with the higher grades because he’d blown way past what his grade was learning.

        Gate starts in elementary school. I remember being really bored in regular school and just daydreaming.

        Failure to nurture academic talent is negligent.

        1. Karen, our son was reading at 3 (no TV). We and he do not feel cheated because he didn’t have “advanced” classes in 4th grade. School is social education as well as reading, writin’ and rithmatic.

          1. Anon – you keep talking about the choices you wanted, while demanding that choices be denied other parents.

            If you didn’t want your son to attend Gate or similar, then that’s your choice. What business is it of yours if advanced classes or schools are offered to other parents? Are students in gifted classes going to turn out to be bad people? Are students who are either behind or at grade level damned to be bad people if they don’t have gifted students in the classroom tuning out the teacher every day?

            Why do you want to deny advanced options to other children?

            How does this benefit any of the students?

            1. Karen, i think I’ve explained my position fully and I don’t agree with advanced classes for 4th graders. I was no dummie in school (I was offered the opportunity to skip 6th grade) and I have no remembrance of being bored in those grades, though I do remember that girl chasing me around the playground when I slipped and dislocated my elbow. PS Skipping grades is apparently not popular now because studies show being the oldest kid in class is beneficial socially and in educational achievement. Parents sometimes hold their kids back from starting because of this fact.

              1. If you explained your position so fully, why do you feel the need to repeat yourself in response to every post here? We get it, you were one of the dumb ones. Time to move on.

            2. Karen and AnonJF,
              I’m torn on this because I find myself agreeing with both of you.

              Karen, what you said about meritocracy (“Getting rid of meritocracy”) seems to me to be one of the biggest issues. Meritocracy denotes rigor and high expectation. I suspect AnonJF agrees that this is important, too. I was in two different districts–one with talented and gifted classes in the elementary and one that did not. The one with the TAG classes was sometimes scoffed at because the classes were sometimes just extra busy-work that wasn’t especially at a higher level. The elementary school that did not have the TAG classes handled the occasional outlier by emphasizing independent projects that let the kid flex their intellectual or creative muscles.

              However, I do have concerns about segregating kids out based on a magic number. Grouping kids into levels is reasonable, especially if it helps kids progress at the pace they need. Kids benefit by having a small range of abilities in the same classroom. It does break down, I think, when that range is too wide–everyone gets frustrated. Kids who are outliers could have their educational needs addressed by providing independent projects as part of classroom instruction (as I mentioned above). Unfortunately, ‘group work’ is the rage today, so, at least in my district, independent work is essentially ignored until the senior project–a massive independent project that kids sometimes seem unprepared for since many students never had to tackle a big independent project until then.

              I like the idea of the one room schoolhouse because the kids had a coherent, progressive (as in, it got steadily more challenging) curriculae that they mastered more or less independently. Similarly-aged kids probably tried to keep up with each other, but if a student wanted to move through the material more quickly, he or she could. I’m not particularly on board, though, with fully independent learning, however, because I do think having a mentor, even a ‘sage on the stage’ can be beneficial for wrestling with concepts and discussing ideas. I liked learning from my teachers–they knew more than I did but many of them also saw the hunger to learn and helped me learn how to feed that myself. It was a relational experience.

      2. Teaching youngsters so that they perform to the best of their ability is something that should occur at ALL grades. The sooner the “level” of their abilities are correctly noted and teaching matches that … the better the education.

      1. Anon: “Karen, everyone in 4th grade IS special.”

        So will you be daring and equitable and say All Lives Matter?

          1. I didn’t ask you to say that white lives matter.

            I asked you to say that ALL Lives Matter.

            Say it!

          2. Anon: “We already assume as a nation that white lives matter..” Actually, BLM calls “all lives matter” white supremacy. Imagine what they’d say to your statement that white lives matter. They say white lives can’t matter until black lives do. If MLK were alive today, they would call him an Uncle Tom or some other racist slur.

            Justice is the statement that all lives should matter the same under the law. I don’t care the same about the life of a pedophile murderer on death row as I do an innocent kindergartener. It shouldn’t matter to the government how anyone feels, but rather whether the law applies equally or not, because you’re never going to create a nation of completely polite, fair minded, law abiding, totally unbiased on all subjects people. The Constitution applies to everyone equally.

            Judging anyone on the basis of any race is racist.

          3. “We already assume as a nation that white lives matter”

            Who is “We”? I occasionally run across people in this nation who do not believe that white lives matter.

            I.E. – You’re such a pedantic “progressive” putz that you can’t bring yourself to say that all lives matter.

          4. 🙂 I see you got yourself triggered like a trained pet. Your royal “we” is stuck in that racist tripe and that “we” doesn’t speak for the nation. Damn!

          5. Sounds like a “closet” racist to me! Your statement demonstrates that YOU “assume” the USA is a white supremecist nation – and YOU need to assert that black lives matter because of your assumption.

      2. Anon – everyone in 4th grade does not have equal learning ability, knowledge, or academic excellence.

        Before Covid, I used to volunteer regularly at my son’s school. He was in 4th grade that year. There were some kids who got the material easily, and were bored, and others who were completely at sea. There was this one kid who missed school all the time. Never turned in homework. He didn’t even know what multiplication meant, let alone the multiplication tables. He was gone all the time, and then totally lost and disengaged when he did show up. This happened annually, so he was just as lost on addition and subtraction. To get this kid up to speed would take a year of daily one on one tutoring. We used to sit outside with counters and beans, going through the concepts of math. He was starting to get it. We had more and more high fives and his smile was absolutely beatific. His parents changed schools before the year ended. I don’t know what was going on at home, but he was a very sweet kid with no self esteem at all. He thought he was stupid, and said as much, but he wasn’t at all! He’d just missed the explanation of the basics on every subject, the foundation for all other learning, and so was perpetually lost. He thought he couldn’t learn so he’d stopped trying. He deserved better.

        There were other kids whose parents would tell them, at pickup where everyone could hear, that school didn’t matter. Parents who would mock the kid’s tears at getting in trouble with the teacher again. I wonder what those kids’ attitudes towards school is going to be by middle school.

        So, while you do have a point in that every child is their own special, unique person, and deserves to be loved and supported, every child in fact has different learning levels. They don’t all have special math or reading abilities, yet it’s common for parents to argue that their child is too brilliant to receive that lower grade, even though they never turned in homework, didn’t learn the times tables, and were late to school every day. Sometimes, the problem is the parent’s attitude towards school, in which they don’t work on subjects at home or ensure homework is completed.

        I actually think that subjects should be broken out into learning level groups starting at first grade. A student who might be ahead in reading might be behind in math. The best way is to teach students at their own level. Those needing more refresher or who don’t understand the subject go in one group, and those who are ready to go on to the next level go to another group. These groups might include different grades. I don’t know how to address the stigma that students so often ascribe to those in lower level classes other than not to share where each student is going. Ideally, there should be free movement depending on need between these groups. If a subject proves tough, there should be after school tutoring available, especially for those kids whose parents could care less about school.

        Every child should have the opportunity to get a good education. If their families don’t value education, then I’m all for efforts during the school day or after school to fill in that gap.

        1. Karen, 4th grade is way too early to separate kids into social groups based on the elect and the damned. It’s not good for them and we may not be accurate enough or have clear enough goals for them or society to know that. I had kids in advanced high school programs – one in IB – and I know the social ramifications for that much later stratification. It’s ok – our kids definitely benefited though I don’t know about the damned – but by that time, many though not all of their friends were already separated to some extent by academic achievement. Would I have wanted them spending all their time from 4th grade with only the elect? Not a good idea for them or the society.

          Aren’t you Republicans always decrying the “elites”?

          1. Anon – it’s not a social differentiation but an academic one. Did your kids only befriend those in their own classes? That’s strange. I was friends with everyone. I don’t remember taking a single class with some of my closest friends. If you’re talking about gifted schools rather than simply gifted classes, then it’s true that they would socialize during the day with people at their own academic level. Anthony Robbins used to say that if you want to succeed, deliberately surround yourself with those who share your goals. If you want to go to college, ensure you frequently spend time with those who also want to go to college. Otherwise, you’ll say you have to study while your friends who constantly cut class keep urging you to skip school and smoke pot, or skip studying to go to a party, or why are you always too busy with school to hang out with us?

            Consider, if you will, some of the worst schools in the United States. It’s dangerous in the hallways. The studious kids get beaten and made fun of regularly. Sometimes the teachers are the victims of violence. If you raise your hand to answer a question they laugh at you. Most of the student body is chronically absent. Many belong to gangs. If you don’t then you’re a target. You will be mercilessly mocked for “acting white” if you say you don’t want to do drugs, and you want to go to college. Can you not see a benefit for them to attend a school where everyone who attends deeply values education and achievement? If you were the parent of a gifted kid, and you can’t financially afford to get out of the dangerous neighborhood, where would you want your kid to attend school, the dangerous public school where academic achievement goes to die, or a gifted program?

            I will say that skipping grades can be challenging from a socialization or emotional perspective. I’ve known people who were taking college classes at a very young age.

            You keep using the phrase “the damned.” Do you consider normal public school classes “damning”? If so, why would you want gifted students in them? What is the purpose of forcing someone to sit there bored? What is either the below average, the average, or the above average group getting out of it? The students who are behind are still not getting enough explanation for the topics they don’t get, those at grade level have to sit there and wait, falling behind on being taught the subjects that will be on state testing, and those above grade level will be spinning in circles in their chairs, literally learning zero day after day. I call those the damned.

            Why are you so opposed to matching students with the resources they need to succeed, at every level? You have not yet explained a benefit of having students of all academic levels go at the pace of the slowest or most behind learner. Or would you prefer to go at grade level pace, leaving the behind learners totally lost and the ahead learners still bored into a trance?

            You are confusing “elites” with a meritocracy. Should Michael Jordan have been denied pro basketball, which is for the most meritorious players, and only allowed to play for a team that consists of average and below average players?

            One last thought to consider. Parent choice means the parents get to choose where to send their children. If a parent does not believe gifted classes or a gifted school is the best match for their student, they can choose differently.

            1. Karen, kids do hang out mostly with those in most of their classes. Some advanced programs include all but Phys Ed, and all my kids best friends by senior year were in advanced classes with him. When he was younger he had friends from all sides of the RR track.

            2. Karen,
              “Can you not see a benefit for them to attend a school where everyone who attends deeply values education and achievement? If you were the parent of a gifted kid, and you can’t financially afford to get out of the dangerous neighborhood, where would you want your kid to attend school, the dangerous public school where academic achievement goes to die, or a gifted program?”

              I think there are two separate questions going on here. One is a general discussion of whether or not TAG classes for elementary students are a good idea in general. The other, as you brought up, an issue in particular, problematic districts. I think AnonJF has been discussing the general concept of TAG classes. He might agree with you that in badly broken districts, it’s better to cut one’s losses and go to cyber or private schools.

          2. AnonJF,
            “way too early to separate kids into social groups based on the elect and the damned.”

            By this you mean being separated into Talented and Gifted classes versus some degree of ability grouping?

            Public schools could be making sure the curricula is rigorous in general so that all kids can have the opportunity to reach for excellence. Makes me think of the rats in the enriched environments–they did better on mazes than the rats in the boring cages. Nothing particularly significantly special about the rats themselves (they weren’t selected for intelligence); their environment was an important factor for achievement.

        2. Karen,
          “I actually think that subjects should be broken out into learning level groups starting at first grade.”

          I agree, though maybe by 2nd grade. I remember being in small groups to learn, even up into 6th grade. Then, in middle school, the classes were somewhat grouped by ability because the kids who had gotten into the higher math class had a particular rotation because there was only 1 upper level math class. High school had a fairly open policy regarding the Honors classes. Everyone had to apply, but if you thought you could do the work, they would let you try. That allowed very hard-working, conscientious kids to get a leg up even if they didn’t have some kind of magic number.

  12. Kind of reminds me of the old cargo cults in the South Pacific. Everyone knows getting rid of the racist programs will advance “equity”, eliminate “systematic racism” and “white privilege”.

    Wonder what upper middle class, virtue signaling white leftists will do now since these programs no longer exist. Perhaps they will have to actually associate with their minority pets? Naw, they will send their kids to private schools all while continuing to berate working class whites who cannot afford to escape the system.


  13. It’s all falling apart. Sal Sar

    “Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.” — Yeats

    1. Anonymous, that was written in 1919 and thinks were falling apart then (WWI ending). They are much better now with no WW s in 75 years and none on the horizon, and wealth and health improving world wide in solid numbers. Problems and threats loom, but we’re smart and survivors. Hopefully we resolve them so new ones can arise.

  14. A different meritocracy needs balance: Athletes. Professional athletes.
    There must be racial balance on all professional basketball and football and soccer teams. Especially, there must be F to M trans represented on men’s teams and vice versa. NASCAR must be balanced male and female – blacks, hispanics, and Irish must be proportional to population density, not just open to the best drivers.
    Faculty applications may be rejected because there are sufficient numbers of your race already on the faculty. If there is an historic legacy some faculty will be forced to resign.
    Julliard School of Music must be properly represented by lesbian, bisexual, gay, trans, male, female according to population density. Talent must take back seat.
    Great idea all around.
    Go for it.

  15. Some, select… every child left behind. That said, diversity of individuals, minority of one.

  16. Perhaps children learning their ABC’s like this 4 year old will be among those deemed fit for inclusion into a “gifted” program.

    A video of a woman having a little boy read from “The GayBCs” — a children’s book that uses letters of the alphabet to introduce readers as young as 4 years old to LGBTQ words — has been making quite a stir on social media.

    What are the details?
    The video begins with the little boy reading aloud the word for letter A: “ally.” Then the woman with him is heard introducing the rest of the letters, beginning with “B is for” — and the tyke answers “bi.”

    While some of the words don’t possess immediate LGBTQ connotations — H is for “hope” and M is for “mountain,” for instance — others like “bi” hit right at the heart of it. And little boy with his cute little-boy voice reads all of them:

    C is for “coming out.”
    D is for “drag.”
    G is for “gay.”
    I is for “intersex.”
    L is for “lesbian.”
    N is for “non-binary.”
    O is for “orientation.”
    Q is for “queer.”
    T is for “trans.”

  17. Turley: “does not advance true diversity in my view” to abolish advanced programs.
    Diversity is not a holy grail to be pursued above all else. At some point it destroys a community.

    We are told we must celebrate diversity and cultural differences but at another point we are told all outcomes must be alike.

    That isn’t possible.

    A culture that disdains study and academic achievement as “acting white” can never do as well as an Asian or white culture that cherishes and gathers knowledge as the common property of all mankind.

    So, abolish knowledge.

    Everyone can be equally ignorant and diversity is achieved, but only at a suicidal price.

    1. The issue is “advanced” classes for 4-6 graders.

      What “knowledge”? Outlining first before coloring?

            1. Maybe. Some just have a better ability to take tests. I was one of those and skated through some subject matter that others spent days on.

              Tests are designed to measure something. They may or may not be well designed to measure that thing. What thing are we looking for with kids that we think let’s us imagine their future academic achievement 8 years from now? Is scoring high on 12th grade tests what we are looking for, or maybe creative application of whatever knowledge they do acquire is at least as important. The problem is we are not smart enough to design tests to know these things, nor are we smart enough to know which types of knowledge acquisition will most benefit the kid, as well as our society. Advanced classes are fine – much later..

              1. If I understand correctly, because we can not predict a student’s future ability to apply knowledge, nor what knowledge will be useful to the child, testing to see one has an understanding is pointless. Do you think there is any benefit to education?

                These points also do not address whether testing does provide some insight into tracking a child.

                1. mb, nothing I have written implies I don’t think there is a benefit to education. I have written and repeat, this is too early to separating kids based on far off projections. We may not know how to do that well and comprehensively, and there are social side effects which I think are harmful. It’s not like this is some long tradition that Boston is breaking up based on those damn blacks. This is new BS for type A competitive parents.

                  1. Far off projections is your interpretation. They are separating based test scores. Who is this we? The schools have experience (many decades), doing just this. As has been mentioned by others, this is not tattoo that marks a child for life, they can move up or down based on performance.

              2. AnonJF,
                “nor are we smart enough to know which types of knowledge acquisition will most benefit the kid, as well as our society.”

                I think there is a balance here. People in a society should have a general coherent knowledge base that they can all return to in their understanding and discourse. I also think that have a broad knowledge base of the world and its many splendors helps ground a person, and, gives them a base to jump into their own, personalized interests. Knowing something about the world on a wide range of subjects helps a person to interconnect disparate knowledge, builds creativity, and helps a person fine-tune what really catches their interest. I’m a big fan of a central thread of knowledge that all students should learn, but, they should many opportunities for guided independent learning. And, it should force kids, to an extent, to get out of their comfort zones because that, too, helps them develop more fully. It helps develop the Left-brain/Right-brain dynamic, the lateral vs hierarchical dynamic. Having maneuverability and agility in one’s ability to think makes a person more versatile, in general, and, I’d think more resilient and better able to adapt when necessary–all important in a dynamic world.

      1. Anon: “What “knowledge”? Outlining first before coloring?”

        Probably more than that, but let’s assume you are right.

        Why can’t black students outline before coloring as well as white and Asian students?

        The inadequate teachers can’t even teach that or are POCs unteachable even at that task level?

        1. Who cares at 4th grade? By the way, do you know black kids can’t color as well as whites and Asians?

          1. The problem at the school was that blacks were not doing as well as whites and Asians in those programs. It was you who implied that advanced programs at that level consisted of outlining before coloring and therefore something blacks couldn’t do outlining before coloring as well as whites and Asians.

            Like many of your statements that one, too, was silly. I thought that if we accepted your premise about ‘knowledge’ at that level and saw where it led you would see that it was silly.

            Apparently not.

            1. I am challenging our ability to predict tracks for kids at this age and the wisdom of trying to. What is the goal, pre-engineering graduates or the bigger thinkers who create new business and art? What are the social effects on dividing kids at the age then and later in their life?

              We don;t know enough to do this well and even if we did, the social side effects are real and probably not good for either the select or the damned.

              1. Anon- “I am challenging our ability to predict tracks for kids at this age and the wisdom of trying to.”
                Well, as you said above, you are not an educator so you are pontificating and challenging without knowledge or experience. At least find another windmill to tilt at.

                You still haven’t said why you think black kids can’t color within the lines as well as whites and Asians.

                1. Interesting that you are so deferential to “educators” Young.

                  I’m a human of fairly wide experience – I assume you are also – and I was kid once – as I assume you were – and I had a couple of kids go through school in high school level advanced programs., so I have knowledge and experience. I doubt all “educators” would agree with advanced classes for 4th graders, though not following the literature I can’t say for sure.

                  1. I’m a human of fairly wide experience –

                    You’ve spent 90% of your life in one of three counties.

              2. Anon– “We don;t know enough to do this well”
                You don’t. Much of the rest of the world is doing it quite well. Korean kids outperform American kids in nearly every significant category. But they aren’t trying to flatten every kid to the same pathetically low level. We can’t all be Hottentots.

                1. Young, I don’t know much about Korean society, but I do know that while we tend to lag behind on math and science skills here, the US is still the capital for creative applications of technologies. An article I read quite a few years ago – when Japan was our big threat – noted that Japan was good at copying others – used to be the Chinese, then us – and that video games was an instructive way of looking at this. The article said Donkey Kong is/was a Japanese designed game, and is pretty regimented with predictable events players try to keep up with. Another game – don’t remember and I don;t play video games – that was American designed was one of these guys running around shooting, picking up supplies etc. a chaotic experience which was more wide open. And so the point was that we as culture are better geared for that chaos and are more creative. On another competitor nation, a good friend worked in China for 4 years, 1/2 the year there, the other half here. His experience was that the Chinese tend toward social and technological rigidity. Politeness and not ruffling feathers is a must, and even when taught new techniques – that was what he was doing – they would nod and say yes sir, but as soon as you left the room, went back to their old method. Another friend who regularly does business with the Chinese confirmed that behavior as normal.

                  So, are we immune to threats from other countries who may be more disciplined? No. Might we have our own advantages that don’t show up in tests and have to do with creative reactions to chaos? Let’s hope so.

                  1. Still waiting for you to say ALL Lives Matter.

                    If they don’t, please tell us what lives don’t matter.

                    1. Okay. You are a paid troll who isn’t permitted to say All Lives Matter.

                      Don’t you think black lives are included in all lives?

                      Apparently not.

                  1. “So nice to see you flaunting your bigotry again.”

                    So nice for the dumbest person on the blog to accuse others of bigotry, when he willfully attempts to separate races and have them battle with one another. Add that to his lack of concern for the cities burned down and the minorities that lost their jobs and businesses. Add that to the children who aren’t being educated where the bulk of the problem falls on the poorest and the minorities. This is the fool accusing another of bigotry when it is his attitudes that are causing the poor and minorities to suffer the most.

                    Go watch some reruns of Cuomo killing seniors

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