"Students in the program have the opportunity to study subjects in greater depth and are offered more schoolwork than the traditional curriculum requires."
But this is 2021 and apparently there are "disparities" in the program and that must not be allowed!
A district analysis of the program found that more than 70 percent of students enrolled in the program were white and Asian, even though nearly 80 percent of all Boston public school students are Hispanic and Black.
School Committee member Lorna Rivera said at a January meeting that she was disturbed by the findings, noting that nearly 60 percent of fourth graders in the program at the Ohrenberger school in West Roxbury are white even though most third graders enrolled at the school are Black and Hispanic.
"This is just not acceptable," Rivera said at a recent school committee meeting. "I've never heard these statistics before, and I'm very very disturbed by them."
She is very disturbed because it strikes her as "unfair". Whether it works or makes sense doesn't matter.
Being in this program is like being in segregated housing in prison, away from gen pop. One of the problems, and there are many, with public schools is that it lumps every kid of a certain age group in a given location together without regard to their ability or development. That means that of necessity teachers have to teach to the lowest common denominator, otherwise they flunk half of the class. For smarter kids, this means they are being held back and usually are bored, and not as prepared as they should be for future education. Advanced education classes are aimed at identifying higher achieving students and giving them the chance to be challenged.
To the surprise of no one, a merit based program that identifies third graders who scored well on a test, tends to attract mostly White and Asian kids in a school system that is overwhelmingly black and mestizo. Boston Public Schools look like a nightmare. According to their website, where they are apparently bragging about this, BPS is super diverse!
We are proud to be one of the most diverse school districts in the nation. Nearly one in every two students speaks a language other than English at home, and our students come from 139 different countries. One in five BPS students has a disability, and half are economically disadvantaged.
In modern "education" speak, having a "disability" in a public school usually means that the kid is an out of control and often dangerous behavioral problem, not that he is in a wheelchair. Half of the kids speak something other than English at home and oddly enough half are also "economically disadvantaged".
How do you teach in a school district where half the kids barely speak English and 20% have chronic behavior problems? The answer is, you don't or at least you barely do. You teach down to the level you need to in order to have kids graduate. BPS is bragging that significantly more black students are graduating compared to a decade ago:
4-year graduation rates for Black students have risen from 54.2 percent in 2007 to 76.4 percent in 2018, out-pacing the district's increase for all students by 5 percentage points.
What happened during those 11 years to see an almost 50% increase in graduation rates? Is the instruction just that much better or are the standards that much lower? Are black kids magically more intelligent? Nah.
It is all about the desired outcome. Last year in my post The Dumbing Down Of America I mentioned one Marqell McClendon, a black woman who graduated as the "valedictorian" of her Detroit school, Cody High School, a school with 428 students, of which 422 are black. Ms. McClendon went on to Michigan State University where she promptly found herself incapable of completing even low level remedial math courses. Being the valedictorian in a Detroit school is mostly a matter of making it to graduation without being killed or arrested.
Lower the standards, improve the statistics and churn out students incapable of basic classwork at the next level. That isn't "education", it really isn't anything more than providing a holding pen for diverse inner city youths until they age out of the school system. More from BPS:
- In the 2018-2019 school year, we will offer full-day pre-kindergarten education for over 2,500 four-year-olds, up from 700 seats in 2005.
- Expanded Learning Time (ELT) is one of the key ways in which the district hopes to provide a high-quality education for all. Schools in BPS can expand the day though the Schedule A initiative, having turnaround status, or becoming an autonomous school. In the 2019-2020 school year, BPS will be implementing ELT in a total of 62 schools serving over 25,000 students since the Schedule A ELT agreement was implemented in Fall 2015.
- One in five students attends one of our award-winning summer learning initiatives -- nationally recognized for excellence in summer learning in 2013.
This is all about keeping the schools open more, requiring more staff and providing day care for urban youths.
I am not a fan of the advanced learning programs as they used to be a complete waste of time and often counter-productive (see: The Educational Malpractice Of Gifted And Talented Programs) but for White and Asian, as well as higher achieving black and mestizo kids, these advanced learning programs in Boston are probably a lifeline to get them out of the public school system and into an environment where they can actually learn. Even still, according to the original story, most kids who qualify for the program still don't take the opportunity:
The program was open to all students in the Boston Public Schools who took a test known as Terra Nova in the third grade and received a high score. Those students were placed in a lottery conducted by the central administration office, and lottery winners received letters inviting them to apply to the program. Last fall, 453 students received invitations, 143 students applied and 116 enrolled this year, officials said.
So only around 1/3 of the kids who qualified, were pulled in the lottery and invited to enroll actually were enrolled by their parents in the program. I wonder how many of the 2/3 who didn't enroll were black and mestizo parents who didn't want their kid to seem too "White"?
I always like to dig a little deeper into stores like this. The superintendent of Boston Public Schools who ordered this program suspended is named Brenda Cassellius. As an aside, you will be hard pressed to find many superintendents or principals in city school districts who are not female and/or a minority. The executive staff for Boston Public Schools only has a couple of White guys, including the chief financial officer who probably has the only real job on the executive team. But it does have these folks:
What does "Dr." Grandson, the "Chief Equity & Strategy Officer", do all day? Great question, I bet it involves a lot of meetings and zero interaction with actual students. For that matter, what do any of these four do all day? On the other hand I assume all of these people have mid range six figure salaries, cushy benefits and a great retirement program.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Ms. Cassellius taught in actual classrooms from August of 1990 to June of 1995, about the same time I was in college. In July of 1995 she was hired as an Assistant Principal and has been in administration ever since. That means she is over a quarter of a century removed from the classroom. To her "education" is mostly an academic issue, pun intended. She doesn't have to deal with the day to day classrooms like the teachers in hyper-diverse Boston Public Schools.
Equity is replacing equality as the goal of the Cultural Marxist Left. Equality sounds great to most of us, everyone gets the same opportunity to succeed. That is very egalitarian and "fair". By contrast equity is concerned with the outcome and if someone isn't achieving the same outcome, then by definition the system is "unfair". No one is questioning that White and Asian students tend to be significantly more intelligent and higher achieving at school but that isn't the point. The system can only be fair if the outcome matches the desired goal and if it doesn't, well you simply have to game the system until it does. Sure that means more undeserving black and mestizo kids in accelerated programs and more smart White and Asian kids thrown back into general population where they will be held back by their imbecilic classmates but as long as we can show the statistics on our webpage indicating the proper racial ratios, equity has been achieved.
This is the next step but not the final one, soon equity will be replaced by reparative justice where only black and mestizo kids are given preferential classroom treatment to atone for past injustices. The only purpose of the government and pretty much every other significant institution in America in the 2020s is weaponizing the government to punish certain racial groups for not sucking and elevating others at their expense.
There is no stopping this, but you can (at least for now) still take steps like removing your kids from public schools and finding ways to disentangle yourself from the various institutions that are lining up to shit on you and your family. That will be the topic for a future post but for now just recognize that talking about equality and MLKs "dream" of a color blind future is useless and counterproductive. This is a tribal war and it is high time our side gets in the fight.