Sunday, April 21, 2024

Education Suffers Under The Guise Of Equality

The left often champions the idea of equality, but they seem to misunderstand its meaning. While equality is a noble goal, it’s not always possible to achieve it in every aspect of life. This is because there are many factors at play, such as the differences in the world, nature, and biology, that make true equality impossible. While I support the concept of equality, we must also consider the practical limitations that exist when we try to implement it.

Equal opportunity doesn’t guarantee equal results. Just like runners in a race start at the same time but only one wins, each person has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. We all excel at different things and that’s what makes life interesting.

Learning is a skill that varies in speed for different individuals. While some students may quickly and comprehensively understand the material, others may take more time to grasp the same concepts. If a student is recognized as a fast learner, their ability should be acknowledged and catered to with an accelerated teaching program that continues to enhance their potential.

The Seattle Public School System (SPS) is phasing out the Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) program, which was designed for gifted students, to achieve more equitable education in the left-wing district. The school board decided to shut down the program because it had a disproportionately high number of white and Asian students.

According to the Seattle Times:

“For decades, highly capable programs across the country, like SPS’, served a small number of Black, Latino, Indigenous, Alaskan and Pacific Islander and low-income students and taught more white and Asian students.”

The Times went on to say that as a replacement SPS has decided to offer “a whole-classroom model where all students are in the same classroom and the teacher individualizes learning plans for each student.”

My daughter is a third-grade teacher, and she believes that the proposed plan is both ridiculous and unattainable. Most teachers would probably agree with her. The idea of creating a personalized learning plan for each student is unrealistic. Even if it was possible, it would be extremely difficult for a teacher to implement customized, dynamic learning systems for every student over the course of an entire school year.

The SPS has implemented a program without taking into account the opinions of parents. It has been observed that many parents, including those who are black, prefer that the HCC program continue to be implemented. At a recent school board meeting, a black father spoke out about how the program had helped his son.

According to The Stranger the father had this to say:

“My request is that you please consider the disservice you would be doing to the minorities that are already in the HCC program. The program does more for black children, particularly black boys, than it does for their peers.”

The response from Chandra Hampson, who at the time was the board director, accused the father and other minority parents of being “tokenized” and used by white parents. That anyone would make such a statement is reprehensible, but the fact that Hampson is white angered some black parents.

In a statement to The Stranger, one black parent of an HCC student said:

“It’s ridiculous for board members to say that we are being tokenized. We have brains. We have minds of our own. We are not being used by anyone. Chandra Hampson should be embarrassed for saying that.”

The fear for most parents is that the new system will fail both the gifted students and those who require more specialized techniques.

One Parent, Karen Stukovsky, who has three students in SPS, voiced her concerns to the Times:

“You have some kids who can barely read and some kids who are reading ‘Harry Potter’ in first grade or kindergarten. How are you going to not only get those kids up to grade level and also challenge those kids who are already way above grade level?”

The other pressing concern is the additional resources that will be required. According to local station KOMO:

“The problem with this new program, at least from what teachers anonymously said, is that SPS does not give them any additional resources. No extra time, no aid in the classroom, no curriculum help, and no extra compensation to come up with these additional lesson plans for every level of learning in a single classroom.”

The Times provided a description of how these equitable classrooms function.

“On a recent day in a first-grade classroom, seven advanced learners sat on the floor reading silently on their iPads. Several others wrote independently at their desks. A special education student wrote with a paraprofessional aide at their side. The rest of the class sat in a front corner of the classroom while the teacher read a book out loud.”

This is not how education in America should be. Gifted students should be challenged while those who are less gifted should receive appropriate support. Placing all students in one classroom can have negative effects on students at both ends of the academic spectrum. It is not a matter of pride to have equal failure, a greater goal is to have concern for the success of every student.