Achieving Equity through Mediocrity: Why Elimination of Gifted Programs Should Worry Us all

Below is my column in the Hill on the elimination of the gifted programs, proficiency requirements, and other performance-based elements in our public school system. This was highlighted recently by the elimination of the gifted and talented programs in New York City under Mayor Bill de Blasio, which were denounced as racist. I have long been critical of this trend which focuses on reducing disparities in performance by trimming the top rather than raising the bottom of a student body.

Here is the column:

Journalist H.L. Mencken once denounced public education as an effort “simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.” Mencken’s fears may be coming true in a way that few of us thought possible just a few years ago.

While much of our public debate today has centered on the teaching of the concepts of systemic racism and white privilege, a far more worrisome trend is sweeping our public school system. Across the country, school districts are removing advanced programs and even standardized testing to achieve an artificial appearance of equity. Indeed, it promises a kind of equity through mediocrity that all families should reject.

This movement was on display this week after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the elimination of the Gifted and Talented (G&T) program for the city’s school system. G&T programs have been denounced by some as racist because a disproportionate number of white and Asian students are in the advanced programs. The De Blasio panel previously declared such programs to be “segregation” due to the lower number of minority students. The move is part of a campaign to eliminate racial disparities not by elevating the performance of minority students but by removing standardized testing and special programs that highlight such disparities. Now those separate programs will be eliminated and the students returned to the general student body. They can seek “accelerated” materials but will be taught in classes with other students in conventional schools.

Despite billions spent on public school systems, there remains a chronic failure to achieve bare proficiency in reading, writing and math for many public school students in cities like New YorkDetroitWashington, D.C., and Baltimore. The response by many is to declare standardized testing or meritocracy as racist, while other districts eliminate special programs or schools for gifted students. In Oregon, the governor and legislature went further and eliminated any graduation proficiency requirement in reading, writing or math.

De Blasio’s move will do little to advance students, while likely accelerating the departure of many families from public schools. Gifted students are unlikely to get the attention or advanced work they need to stay intellectually engaged; some will underperform or drop out.

It also is not necessarily good for other students. Gifted students are likely to push down the scores and ranking of other students. Currently, students in the other programs can still excel and achieve high class rankings in seeking college positions. Now, they likely will find themselves less competitive if classes are dominated by gifted students, and teachers will struggle to keep both sets of students engaged.

Rather than improving the performance of minority students, these districts are eliminating testing, requirements and programs that recognize disparities in performance. It is like making your track team more competitive by eliminating the fastest runners or just eliminating the clock. Suddenly everyone is magically performing in perfect harmony.

This movement goes beyond grades.

Recently, a Virginia teacher denounced classroom discipline as a form of “white supremacy.” In a short video, Blacksburg High School teacher Josh Thompson described the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports — or PBIS — as “white supremacy with a hug”: “The idea of just sitting quiet and being told stuff and taking things in a passive stance is not a thing that’s ‘in’ with many cultures. So if we’re positively enforcing these behaviors, we are by extension positively enforcing elements of white culture, which therefore keeps whiteness at the center, which is the definition of white supremacy.”

He is not alone. The Biden administration is looking at class discipline as an area of racial discrimination, and other school districts have barred expulsion or suspensions due to classroom disruptions as racially inequitable. In one English school, teachers were banned this month from even referring to the conduct of students as “good” or “bad.” Headteacher Dr. Julian Murphy said that “I don’t want [teachers] to be shouty and make pupils feel guilty.”

The question is how all of these changes will shape a rising generation. There have long been complaints about the “trophy generation” — young people raised on the expectation that you get trophies for just participating. This new trend is the inverse, effectively eliminating any trophies for higher performers.

Consider the current trajectory of all these moves: Students will be taught in schools that increasingly are unable to enforce good classroom behavior (assuming they can even refer to “good” behavior) with suspensions or expulsions; standardized testing and basic proficiency requirements will be eliminated to remove performance rankings and tracking. Many institutions, like the California university system, are eliminating college standardized testing in order to address racial inequities. Some have even called for random selection for college admissions. As Alison Collins, vice president of the San Francisco Board of Education, stated recently, “When we talk about merit, meritocracy and especially meritocracy based on standardized testing … those are racist systems.”

The result is a perfectly equitable — and a perfectly irrational — educational system.

It is unclear how this country intends to compete in an already challenging global economy. Other countries like China must be delighted to see these moves to eliminate G&T programs.

The most immediate response is likely to be the increasing departures of families from public schools. School choice and vouchers are becoming a more widely supported cause, including by a huge number of Democratic and independent voters. Yet the abandonment of public schools would be a terrible loss for many of us who have been lifelong supporters of public education. (My parents helped found a group in Chicago in the 1970s to stop the “white flight” from public schools. There, the loss of white and affluent families was not just reducing diversity in the schools but leaving schools without political and economic support. My wife and I sent our kids to Virginia public schools and feel incredibly fortunate to have lived in Fairfax County, with exceptional schools and teachers.)

These trends are now reversing such efforts. Teachers’ unions and politicians often treat families like captives in these systems, with little to no voice on curriculum or policies. That issue is at the center of the close governor’s race in Virginia, after Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe declared: “I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions. I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

Those parents ultimately can speak, however, by leaving public school systems. The result would be an educational system as divided as our society — racially, politically and economically. Moreover, we will have an increasing gap in the levels of performance between private and public schools, creating an image of public schools as the default educational option for students who are less competitive. That would be a disaster not just for minority families but for the entire country.

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

102 thoughts on “Achieving Equity through Mediocrity: Why Elimination of Gifted Programs Should Worry Us all”

  1. Former FBI Director McCabe Gets Pension Restored From Trump Vendetta

    The Justice Department has agreed to restore full law enforcement benefits and provide some attorney fees for former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired by the Trump administration only hours before his retirement three years ago.

    The settlement will resolve a civil lawsuit filed by McCabe, who argued that his ouster was the result of a “years-long public vendetta” driven by the former president.

    The Justice Department demoted and then dismissed him on the eve of his 50th birthday in March 2018, when his FBI annuity would have vested.

    “I think the message that you get loud and clear from the terms of the settlement is that this never should have happened,” McCabe said. “It feels like complete vindication, because that’s what it is.”

    Edited From:

    https://www.npr.org/2021/10/14/1039690679/andrew-mccabe-lawsuit-trump-fbi
    ……………………………………………………..
    It was obvious, in real time, that McCabe’s firing was merely an effort by Donald Trump to intimidate the FBI. Almost every day of Trump’s presidency was devoted to intimidating whoever was in his way at the moment.

    1. The guy wise fired for cause. Then e hshould have been indicted tried. But the deep state protects their own. Then they persecute the innocent, ie General Flynn,

  2. If you are trying to lose weight but you look in the mirror and you see that you have not only failed to lose weight but you have gained weight the obvious solution to the problem is to remove all the mirrors in the house. The progressives are simply trying to remove the mirror that reflects their failed education policies of the last forty years. They refuse to look in the mirror and they want to keep you from seeing what the mirror reflects. The question is will you allow them to place the shade over the mirror? Remember, they are willing to use force by limiting your choice through the elimination of charter schools. “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future”. The initials of the man who made this statement were A.H.

    1. If you are trying to lose weight but you look in the mirror and you see that you have not only failed to lose weight but you have gained weight the obvious solution to the problem is to remove all the mirrors in the house. The progressives are simply trying to remove the mirror that reflects their failed education policies of the last forty years.

      Think,
      The problem is their strategic plan was to get fat, all the while convincing everyone else that they were trying to lose weight. Their “education” plan has been a resounding success.

      1. Olly, you are correct. Their plan is to grow fat off of the public trough. To be sure to keep the trough full the youth must be brought to their hoofs. Some are more equal than others in their new constitution.

  3. “Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.”

    – Vladimir Lenin

  4. What the Federal government seeks is a passive populace. That’s why they’re sending the FBI after soccer moms who speak out at school board meetings. That’s why the FBI is relentlessly ferreting out every granny who wandered around the Capitol Building on Jan 6 taking selfies. That’s why the FBI spends millions infiltrating every insignificant handful of yahoos in Idaho who could be, OMG, white supremacists! But the same Federal government allows hundreds of thousands of Haitians, Africans and assorted groups to walk in across our Southern border. Why? Because certain populations are known for their passivity. Provide welfare checks to the women, and let the men subsist off petty crime, and they’ll vote for AOC and not question anything. The same government won’t allow Irish or Eastern European immigrants; and it won’t allow Cuban immigrants. Kanye West made the controversial statement about slavery: “300 years seems like a choice.” And it’s true. When slaves were the sizable majority of the Southern population, they didn’t rise up. In Jamaica, when the British outlawed slavery in their colonies, they had to import millions of workers from India to perform the work of the former slaves, who preferred to live in squalor rather than work. Arabs enslaved Slavs and other Europeans, but stated a preference for Africans due to their passivity. So the liberals will succeed by bringing in a massive population of passive dependents and menial workers who won’t care, won’t question, and will vote for whomever provides them with occasional free stuff. That’s our future.

  5. “Around 160,000 illegal immigrants released into the US since March: report”

    NY Post, October 13, 2021

    Need help from my leftist moral bettors.

    Isn’t true these folks CANNOT spread covid since the virus is a microscopic SJW and can tell whether you’re naughty or nice?

    Kind of like mostly peacefully protesting on behalf of St. George of Minneapolis.

    Now if you want to attend church, that’s deadly.

    Need help on this one.

    antonio

    1. That Covid is a very smart virus. It will attack Chicago police, but not the Chicago teachers. It will attack federal employees, but not members of Congress and their staff. I mean, how else are we to explain the vaccine mandate exemptions?

    2. If masks work, why don’t masks work?

      If vaccinations work, why don’t vaccinations work?

      If the communist government knows how to defeat the pandemic, why doesn’t the communist government defeat the pandemic?
      ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

      “[Doctors]? We don’t need no stinking [doctors]!”

      – Gold Hat, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

    1. It is not smart to covet; to covet is a sin.

      The entire American welfare state is one gargantuan sin – not to mention an enormous, unconstitutional abomination.

  6. Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” helps to illustrate the jejune opinion of the entire educational system by the Progressive Left. These Woke Progressive Leftists hope to disperse through governmental actions the deficiency needs outlined in Maslows pyramid (Physiological, Safety, Love & Belonging and Esteem) by doing away with the Self Actualization need. According to Maslow’s theory, Self Actualization is the highest level of need, and relates to the individuals need to realize the full potential of their abilities.

    Clayton Alderfer condensed Maslow’s theory into three categories (existence, relatedness and growth). Alderfer’s ERG Theory of Motivation also relates to the Woke Progressive Left and their conceit they can ameliorate the educational system to their Utopian view.

    Taking away the need to achieve ones full potential is surely a road to calamitous consequences

  7. @OLLY

    “The Marxists succeeded”

    Yes, they did. While the great William F. Buckley and “Conservatism, Inc.” were interested in winning the next election cycle, the left were more interested in winning the culture war. Today’s “conservatives” are yesterday’s leftists circa 2000. Mainstream “conservatives” have conserved very little and I want nothing to do with them.

    antonio

    1. i always appreciate your commentary, Antonio, but your apathy isn’t going to fix anything. Stop giving up. That’s the only thing that will change anything. Fight back, if even only at the polls. Your dream of a divorce isn’t likely to happen, with so much money at stake, anymore than leftist young people’s dream of a worls without things that upset them. Some of the more critical of us in this conversation need to grow up, too.

      1. @James

        I appreciate the kind words, thank you. You may be right regarding the eventual divorce but 52% Trump voters and 41% of Biden voters support the idea. No one in 1985 thought the communist system in the USSR and Eastern would collapse either. But it did.

        Why do people put up with the mocking of their heroes, values, culture, religion, traditions, etc.

        They do because most people are afraid to organize and challenge the status quo. They are afraid of being labeled “racists,” getting in trouble and losing their jobs. They prefer to live their lives and gripe on the internet about their racial and cultural decline. That is just the way it is. We live in an individualistic culture.

        It is not that millions of people don’t agree with us. They do, privately. And many write on blogs such as this and remember the people who post here are mostly lawyers and other professionals. By and large, those people aren’t willing to risk imperiling their material standard of living for their politics. They have families. It is human nature to put your own family first. These people isolate themselves and stay disorganized to protect themselves and their own families even when pretty much everyone in their area agrees with them. Their first instinct is to shield themselves and their own families with their money. They keep their head down for very understandable reasons. There are many s@@tlibs and antifa types reading this who would love to uncover, doxx and destroy many who post here.

        I want a divorce. And it’s coming. Let the leftists create their ‘utopia’. I know they believe it would already be here if not for people such as me. Count me out and I’m not here to convert any s@@tlib to my views. I just want to be left alone.

        antonio

        1. I think the idea of the nation getting a divorce is like the idea of breaking an egg, stirring it and then trying to put it back together.

          Much more likely is a takeover by the left or the right. If the right takes over, it will preserve individual freedoms and our Constitutional government until the next time the left gains power. If the left takes over, it is a permanent takeover until some collapse leads to some type of revolution.

          There are elements of the right that also prefer a fascist type government, so unless the American people throw out all the fascists from the government and its bureaucracy, I bet we will turn into a fascist type of state.

  8. Now…all you have to do, is become a Regressive Progressive. Look at the LIAR Andrew McCabe. He is now being rewarded with legal fees, and his pension….all paid for by us little serfs. Progressives can do and say whatever they want without any consequences…and then they get rewarded for their lies. Why bother having laws?? Laws are only for Conservative little people.

  9. At this point, public “education” is just like in North Korea — all propaganda and no real-world math-reading-writing learning.

  10. The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next. Abraham Lincoln

    The Marxists succeeded. And now that they’ve taken control of our government, they cannot permit educating children to be independent thinkers and risk them challenging their positions of power. This is designed to “educate” the next generation of useful idiots.

    1. Visit your local state university, attend for a day a face to face class in any undergraduate science course (300+ level), and behold. Then you will see clearly how bad things are in public schools. I loathe going to the main campus here but when I do, it is grim. Add to the virtual education now in place, and subsequent tanking grades and GPAs across all universities, and you will be shocked. Or not.

      1. I completed my dual degree in Accounting and Education. Although the education path would have been a more natural choice since I already had teaching experience, what I saw convinced me that I had no future in that environment.

  11. On how Giuliana tanked a strong Pennsylvania election lawsuit:

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/exclusive-the-inside-account-of-how-trumps-pennsylvania-election-lawsuit-fell-apart

    If you come up against a paywall, the gist is:

    The original lawsuit was that the election in Pennsylvania violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, because ballots were subject to very different legal protocols in different parts of the state, instead of using one protocol. This was the same reasoning found to have merit in Bush v Gore.

    Democrats organized into a mob that made death threats against the attorneys, so some of them quit. One remained, and she sponsored 2 Texas attorneys. The case was strong.

    However, Giuliani muscled his way in. He deflected from the provably foundation of the case, and talked about unprovable allegations. For example, he focused on the 19,000 dead people still on the rolls in Pennsylvania. That was taken to mean that all 19,000 voted, when only a few hundred votes were cast in their names. It’s absolutely a problem, but it wasn’t the foundation of the case. He brought on a witness who had strong ties with the Democrat Party, and was a registered sex offender.

    The main attorney kept asking the judge to be excused from the case, because it no longer resembled the strong argument she’d made. The judge at first required her to stay for continuity, until finally allowing her and the 2 Texas lawyers to leave.

    Giuliani took a strong case, changed it up, and plowed it into the ground.

    After that ruinous opening, attorneys no longer wished to represent the election cases, and public opinion plummeted.

    Most people never knew the facts of the original case. The original argument affected all 6.1 million Pennsylvania voters. Instead, Giuliani focused on either unprovable allegations, or those involving numbers too small to matter. It was egregious.

    “By wasting time on less relevant claims, an important lawsuit failed. It had catastrophic effects for the remaining legal battles. Pennsylvania could have been the first domino to fall for the Trump campaign in a sequence of tightly contested courtroom victories. Instead, it was the beginning of the end for the campaign’s effort to hold Democrats accountable for foul play. It also had a ripple effect throughout the legal community. The media were soon dismissing all legal challenges as baseless attempts to prove widespread fraud, ignoring more substantive claims. The avalanche of bad publicity scared off credible lawyers from participating in further election challenges on behalf of the Trump campaign, and it made judges inclined to view any such challenges, no matter how merited, with suspicion.”

    1. As usual, Karen, there’s a fundamental flaw in your reasoning: there never was a case to be made in Pennsylvania, much less a “strong” case. What are the “protocols” you haven’t defined, and how or why this could have affected the election? And, why would you believe this without a definition of exactly what facts are being claimed? See, the court challenges brought by Trump’s lawyers raising all of these these arguments about alleged “irregularities” in various states cannot be proven to have affected the outcome of the election. It really doesn’t matter if different “protocols” were followed in different PA precincts or counties if it didn’t cause or lead to voter fraud, just like it really doesn’t matter if the rules for mail-in ballots and absentee voting were relaxed in some states because of the pandemic or if hours for in-person voting were extended, if you can’t connect the dots between these things and voter fraud. There is NO evidence of widespread voter fraud that could have affected the outcome of the election, and 60+ courts have so ruled after demanding proof of how any changes due to the pandemic or irregularities of which Trump complains could have affected the outcome. So, when Trump keeps harping about all of the allegedly bad things that happened during voting, it doesn’t matter if it couldn’t have affected the outcome, and they weren’t “bad” things, either, unless you count making it easier and safer to vote are “bad”, which Trump and Republicans believe they are because they believe making voting easier and safer helps Democrats. When courts dismissed Trump’s frivolous complaints, he bitched about them not being “courageous”. He complained about Pence not being “courageous” for counting the certified vote results from each state, and what he really means is that courts and Pence wouldn’t break or bend the law for the sake of his ego. It’s like negligence law: you can have the worst possible dangerous conditions on your property–like ice that can’t be avoided on sidewalks making it treacherous to walk, and even if someone falls down, if they aren’t injured in any way, there’s no basis for a lawsuit. Causation is an essential element: the conduct had to be proven to lead to a wrongful result, and when Giuliani was pressed by various courts to produce proof that the outcome of the election was affected by the things he was complaining about, he was forced to admit he had no evidence. He actually begged courts to keep the lawsuits going so he could try to get some proof. The legal system doesn’t work like that. Are the Republicans turning on Giuliani because Trump doesn’t want to pay him?

      Trump can’t get quality attorneys to represent him for multiple reasons, among which is the fact that he refuses to pay them unless they produce a result he demands, and even then he doesn’t want to pay. Law doesn’t work like that: results can’t be guaranteed. He also constantly lies. Everything he does is about his ego, especially the 2020 election which he cannot accept that he lost. He doesn’t care about the truth, and expects his lawyers to be similarly ruthless.

    1. See above. Nutty Natch is stalking Karen again. Creepy.

      The Leftoids on the internet will either bludgeoned dissenters, stalk and bully them (like Natch) or set their homes on fire (ANTIFA BLM)

      1. No one is stalking anyone. Karen posts things that she hears on alt right media which were proven incorrect before she posted them, like the claim she posted the other day that the COVID vaccine creates replicas of the virus that stick to your vital organs and have to be peeled off like velcro, and which does damage to you systemically. It has been scientifically proven that the vaccine doesn’t enter the general circulation, but stays in the deltoid muscle where it attaches to muscle cells–this stimulates your immune system, and the vaccine particles that don’t attach to muscle cells get absorbed into the lymphatic system that drains the deltoid, where B and T cells attack the fake virus, all of which sets up immunity. That’s why the vaccine is not more dangerous than COVID itself. She also pushes for Hydroxychloroquine, and posted a reference to a debunked article about that. Now, she’s claiming that some “protocol” wasn’t followed, that this was a strong legal grounds to challenge the Pennsylvania results, and that it’s just like Bush v. Gore. She claims that Giuliani focused on claims that were weak, like 19,000 unpurged dead voters who didn’t vote, and it’s his fault Trump lost the PA lawsuit. This is some crap she heard on one of her alt-right media sources. She doesn’t even know what protocols weren’t followed, but most importantly, how or why not following some protocol or another constitutes voter fraud that would have affected the outcome of the election. There must be a direct link between what is complained about and how this affected the outcome of the election, and if there is no link, there’s no case. So, if states extended their voting hours or relaxed the requirements for absentee and mail voting, or otherwise changed some protocols, this does not amount to fraud unless it can be proven that it affected the outcome of the election. Giuliani was forced to concede in the 60+ lawsuits he filed that he had no proof that anything irregular he complained about changed the outcome in Biden’s favor. Pointing this out is not stalking anyone.

  12. Democrats, notice a problem with your party’s policies yet? Enjoying the high crime of a defunded police yet?

    At what point do you connect your vote with its outcome?

    See the appeal of conservative values of colorblind meritocracy yet?

  13. Charlottesville, VA has taken the opposite approach to gifted students from NYC. Charlottesville recently achieved “equity” by declaring 86% of its students “gifted”. The scary part is that is that they had to include students at least 2 standard deviations below average to achieve racial “equity” in giftedness. They had no cognitive dissonance with that, it was regarded as an achievement. You can’t make this stuff up, innumeracy rules.

    Chinese colleges are graduating roughly 4x the number of STEM students as the US is. They are not eliminating admissions testing like we are, nor are they limiting admissions of bright Asian students to achieve racial “equity” as we are. What could possibly go wrong America?

    1. Growing up, many families sent their kids to Catholic schools. It was a real struggle for working-class families to pay the tuition, but their faith compelled them to figure out a way to do it. Now I see families with two high-end SUVs and other luxuries who send their kids to public schools but complain about the lack of discipline, the indoctrination, and the poor teaching. Yet these parents, infinitely better-off than their parents’ blue collar generation, aren’t willing to spend the money on private schools. So it’s really a matter of values and priorities. People like to say “I’d do anything for my kids,” but in truth, their luxuries and life-style are more important than what their children are being taught and how they’re being socialized. If you want to know what people truly value, observe what they spend their money on.

      1. All great points. I attended Catholic schools. My parents had a 6th grade education, knew no English, dirt poor but there was love in our family in spades. The Jesuit high school allowed me to attend on a reduced tuition. My parents drove me to school, and I would take 2 city buses to get home, or fiends would take me home. Then I would take 2 more buses to go to work at age 15 to help pay for my school supplies. Today I am happily married, never divorced, we attend Mass every Sunday, and I earned 2 professional degrees.

        1. Estovir: know a number of stories like that. A friend whose father was born in poverty in rural Mexico. Came here and worked in a warehouse. His mother was a cashier a Kmart. But they eked out the money to send him and his siblings to Catholic schools and now he’s an intellectual property attorney in L.A. Another friend’s father was an immigrant from Sicily and worked as a pipe fitter. His mother worked in a bakery. Due to Catholic schools, he’s a joint CPA – attorney. Unfortunately, lots of Catholic schools have closed as parents are more interested in spending their money on material things than the spiritual and intellectual education of their children. Catholic schools paved the way for millions of immigrants into the professions in prior generations. As faith and church attendance decline, parents are willing to let radical leftists educate and indoctrinate their children, and yet are somehow shocked at the results!

          1. There are far greater examples than mine, (e.g.Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Clarence Thomas), but I appreciate your kind words.

            My parents were nominal Catholics. Mass where we lived was in English, Spanish was their only language, and their Catholic upbringing was one of traditions and personal example by elders. Like their parents, they knew that educating their children was on them. They never believed, uneducated that they were, that it was the job of teachers, public schools or Catholic priests, to teach their children. My parents died many years ago, and I miss them terribly. Such was their impact on me. Compared to all of the lofty education I received, thanks to their sacrifices, their example, their instruction, their passion for personal excellence, carry me today. They were summa cum laude in the journey of life. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

            The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute. The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable.
            CCC # 2221

  14. “. . . the elimination of the gifted programs . . .”

    There is an eloquent expression of these destroy-the-best policies: Chopping down the tall poppies.

    Intentionally stunt the intellectual development of the brightest children. Could there be a more wicked agenda?

    Here, from “The Man Who Laughs,” is Victor Hugo’s description of those who deliberately mangled children:

    “The Comprachicos worked on man as the Chinese work on trees. A sort of fantastic stunted thing left their hands; it was ridiculous and wonderful. They could touch up a little being with such skill that its father could not have recognized it. Sometimes they left the spine straight and remade the face. Children destined for tumblers had their joints dislocated in a masterly manner; thus gymnasts were made. Not only did the Comprachicos take away his face from the child; they also took away his memory. At least, they took away all they could of it; the child had no consciousness of the mutilation to which he had been subjected. Of burnings by sulphur and incisions by the iron he remembered nothing. The Comprachicos deadened the little patient by means of a stupefying powder which was thought to be magical and which suppressed all pain.”

    Modern Comprachicos are more clever. They don’t use “stupefying powder.” They merely make the intelligent stupid.

  15. JT, don’t worry the upper middle class and well to do left won’t miss a beat all while condemning others for being insufficiently dedicated to ‘equity’. Well to do leftists love to virtue signal all while doing everything to avoid the consequences.

    JT, your previous liberal views will do you no good. The woke crowd thinks you’re a ‘nazi’ too.

    antonio

    1. Antonio, Yes, the upper crust will stay that way. So what if their kid doesn’t get in Berkeley or Stanford? He’ll go to U.S.C. and do just fine. The wealthy professionals who boast that their kids go to public schools annoy me. Yes, public schools in the wealthiest county in the U.S. where all the other kids also come from highly educated, elite families! It’s the lower middle class and poor kids who will be most hurt by the elimination of standards in public schools. I have a nephew who, quite frankly, isn’t very bright. His mother is pretty and sweet, but, as they say, dumb as a pile of rocks. Hence the kid is dumb as well. But he’s a sweet, agreeable child and goes to a Catholic school where they work with him, provide tutoring and extra attention to maximize his abilities. If he were in a public school he would sink to the bottom and become completely lost. He’s not college material but that’s fine. If directed into a skilled trade, a good HVAC technician in CA can make $100,000 per year. That’s a heck of a lot better than attending a mediocre college and getting a worthless degree; graduating with crushing debt and a future as a barista. But it’s all about having teachers who really care and recognize and support the differences in each child. You’re not going to get that in a public school.

  16. For the same reasons, NYC Democrats wish to strangle the charter schools because the charter schools have brought education levels upward while the inner-city public schools, for the most part, breed ignorance and a lack of proficiency in math and English.

    Education is at the bottom of the list for Democrats of today. Politics and unbridled power are at the top.

    1. S Meyer, they’re going to go after homeschooling next.

      Common Core is associated with a worsening of college math readiness. So what did Democrats do? They forced charter and private schools to follow Common Core. Can’t let them have the advantage of teaching better math concepts.

      Within one year of homeschooling, my son got years ahead in math in school. I thought he was missing out on peer interaction in class, so he’s back at public school. He STILL hasn’t learned one single new thing more than 2 months in. He does all the math problems while the teacher explains it to the class, and then reads a book.

      1. Karen, I noted that parents are getting together and homeschooling as a group in certain areas. I spoke to a parent who was involved in group homeschooling. They had more interaction with others of their age. I talked to his child and was shocked at the amount of knowledge the child had accumulated at such a young age.

        My kids are adults with children, but I was horrified by my children’s public schools, so I pulled them out and stayed poor, sending them to a top-notch private school. Today, they all have advanced degrees and are published. They are considered the experts in their fields by their peers. Maybe they would have done the same in public school. It is hard to answer the, what if, question. I went to public school, but that was far superior to what I saw provided to my children.

        Without a good education, the children are lost, and the nation fails. I think the left wants to see failure, for as Charles Krauthammer said, “Decline is a choice.”

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