National School Choice Week

Seattle's School System Wants to Dismantle Its Gifted Programs. This Is Why School Choice Matters.

When educators don't see their parents and students as customers, they make some really stupid decisions.

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As if to demonstrate why parents should pay attention to National School Choice Week, Seattle's school system is purposefully dismantling a program to serve its gifted students—and completely ignoring parents' wishes in the process.

Last week the Seattle School Board voted to partner with a nonprofit to change and (they hope) improve the curriculum of Washington Middle School. Unfortunately, these changes are coming at the expense of the Highly Capable Cohort (HCC), an extremely popular gifted program that lets the students who score the highest on standardized tests participate in a specialized classes. There, they study material several grade levels higher than the ordinary curriculum.

The program has historically been dominated by white and Asian students, and this hasn't set well with some folks who want to see more diversity in advanced programs. But rather than improve access, some school leaders—including Superintendent Denise Juneau—have decided that the whole program is a form of "redlining" and are trying to kill off the whole thing, over the objections of their own customers.

As The Stranger's Katie Herzog reports, the parents of minority kids in the program are unhappy at the possibility that their children might be tossed back into regular classes:

"My request is that you please consider the disservice you would be doing to the minorities that are already in the HCC program," one father testified on Wednesday. "The program does more for black children, particularly black boys, than it does for their peers." He said that in his neighborhood school, his son's cognitive abilities weren't recognized and he was treated as a behavioral problem.

Many of the minority HCC parents I've spoken to over the past few months echoed this: Their kids aren't identified as academically gifted by their teachers, they get bored in the general ed classroom, and then end up being tagged as disruptive when what they need is just accelerated curriculum.

Only 1.6 percent of program's participants are African-American. But for these parents, that's a reason expand it, not end it. One parent told Herzog that Juneau hasn't talked to minority parents who have kids in the program to get their feedback. They don't seem to care about how minority students who do participate in the program have benefited. Instead, School Board Director Chandra Hampson claimed that these parents were being "tokenized" and used by white people to maintain the program.

Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat is baffled by those at the school district who want to eliminate a successful program rather than trying to expand its reach. One school administrator told a parent that the program is "manufactured brilliance" that leads to "opportunity hoarding" by the privileged. Westneat has been seeing the term tossed around a lot lately, and he thinks it leads to a very ugly place:

Undoing such hoarding "is delicate territory," the scholar Richard Reeves explained a few years back, because "improving rates of upward relative mobility from the bottom comes with a sting in the tail: it requires more downward mobility from the top."

Does it though? That's only if it's all a zero-sum game.

Educational opportunity isn't a capped resource (at least it doesn't have to be). In the HCC program, for example, there aren't a fixed number of slots, like in, say, admission to a selective college. So one kid getting in has no effect on another kid's chances.

It should be horrifying to any parent that there are people out there who think educational equality means not just improving opportunities for those who are struggling but purposefully impeding opportunities for those the district deems too far ahead. And this isn't just happening in Seattle. Reason's Matt Welch has written about a similar fight in New York City.

When I was in middle school, we read Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron," a science fiction story about a future that achieved equality by handicapping those who were more talented than others. How else could we describe dismantling an education program entirely because it helps high-achieving students?

Parent Chun Ng tells Westneat the likely outcome if the program disappears:

"This is a debate about what is the role and purpose of a public school district," he said. "Is it to get every kid to a basic standard? Or is it to foster the potential of every kid? What the district is proposing here is like Medicaid, sort of a broad safety-net approach. It's understandable because, like with Medicaid, they have people falling through the cracks. But if you want more than that, I guess you have to go to private school."

And that, ultimately, is why school choice matters. Parents should be able to respond to Juneau's blunt dismissal of their children's needs by taking their business elsewhere.

Reason is celebrating National School Choice Week. This story is part of a series that will be published over the course of the week highlighting different K-12 education options available to children and families.

NEXT: Sanders Wants More Supreme Court Justices Like Sotomayor. That's Not a Bad Idea.

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  1. The obvious answer here is to open the gifted program to all students and just adjust the standards on an individual level so that all students can exceed those standards. Just as all have won and all must have prizes, there’s absolutely no excuse in this day and age to deny all children the right to be above average.

    1. “Woe be gone!” he commanded, and it was so.

    2. “The obvious answer here is”…….. CHOICE!!!!! The individual ability to go shopping for a new school, class or teacher without being FORCED to pay for both.

      I thought everyone realized how much wasted-time, resources and money could be saved by LOCALLY implementing a general knowledge standards test (balance a checkbook, read, write, tell time) EXIT to mandatory schooling.

      1. I pay for both and don’t mind. Education is a collective program where all can participate, even those who can’t afford to pay if they had to. I chose to send my kids to a religious private school but still payed school taxes and it did not bother me the least. No we are not rich, far from it. I depspize those who rant about their kids being out of school and therefore should not be paying school taxes.

        The real problem is the concerted effort of politicians along with their globalist owners and benefactors whose goal is dumb down the public. A dumb person will believe anything, easier to fool and easier to social engineer (lead by the nose) to the will of the globalist. An intelligent person asks question, which is what politician do not want. When you seek to build a global empire as the US is doing, you divert vast financial resources to empire building and you want to make sure no one questions the motive, which is usually the enrichment of the very few. If there is one thing treasonous governments fear the most is their own citizens. The US is at that stage, no different than the old soviet union, seeking to dominate the globe.

        1. I can agree with most of that; but why do you, “despise those who rant about their kids being out of school and therefore should not be paying school taxes.”?

          Wouldn’t a local welfare office allow, “all can participate, even those who can’t afford to pay” …. do it WITHOUT causing the problems you specifically describe from believing, “Education is a collective program”. I just don’t think funding-of and teaching needs to be mutually exclusive and ALL ‘welfare’ should be JUST that and nothing else. Financial assistance when needed and should be enacted as locally as possible to prevent the over 30% welfare leeching we have today.

  2. Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat is baffled by those at the school district who want to eliminate a successful program rather than trying to expand its reach.

    That’s easy. To expand the program by getting more regular school black kids recognized would mean trampling over those school teachers’ right to run their own schools. After all, those teachers are teaching black kids, and … well, not too sure about step 2, but it’s something to do with racism, or cultural appropriation, or labor union prerogatives, or some such excuse.

    1. I want to believe proponents of getting rid of the program have better arguments than what’s been discussed here. They’d still be wrong, but at least they wouldn’t be so plainly evil. And let’s not mince words, because that’s what this is.

      1. The argument tends to be that the kids who test well and get advanced placement are ‘really’ testing for privilege – stable home environments, engaged parents, tutoring, healthy meals, plenty of sleep, etc.

        Thus (according to this line of reasoning), ‘accelerated’ tracks are really simply giving extra help to students who are already getting extra help.

        An added corollary is that you can’t avoid the fact that part of the student experience is other students. If you leave the ‘advanced’ kids in with everyone else, statistically speaking everyone else benefits without really harming the ‘advanced’ kids (measurably). On the contrary, when you remove the advanced kids, the metrics for the ‘left behind’ students definitely decline.

        Dispensing with ‘tracking’ actually makes life harder for teachers, but it’s symptomatic of a system that measures its success abstractly via statistics (and built on certain unshakable ideological assumptions re ‘blank slates’). I.e., it’s all about the metrics.

        1. If that corollary were true, it would apply in all life, not just school, and the only way to keep smart and clever and hard-working innovators back in the dull jobs to help everybody would be to have the State assign jobs purely randomly. And anyone who tried to self-educate to do better would have to be kicked down a notch or two.

          Kulaks! Wreckers!

          1. You’re not wrong.

          2. That corollary line of thinking within schools sounds pretty darn close to the “immigrants stay in your countries and fix it” line of immigration restrictionist thinking.

            Interesting how the progressive/conservative partisan divide falls on those, but with the same justifications.

            1. I think a lot of conservatives are okay with a points based immigration system that takes the Highly Capable Cohort from other countries.

            2. It doesn’t sound like that at all.

        2. re: your corollary

          On the contrary, leaving the ‘advanced’ kids in with everyone else does measurably harm those kids. As the article points out, many advanced kids are misdiagnosed as disruptive when they are merely bored. Not only do they suffer the opportunity costs of being denied the chance for advanced study, they too often live down to the teachers’ expectations. That is, they start bored, get labeled as disruptive and soon truly become disruptive. My own son was well down this path when, over his teacher’s objections, we had him tested.

          Whether those harms to the few are outweighed by the benefits of mainstreaming for the many is a reasonable question (though I believe the answer is no). But it is flat wrong to allege that there is no harm.

          1. I should make clear that I do not support this line of reasoning. I can present it because my brother has been a public elementary school teacher for 25 years, and has not only drunk the Kool-Aid, but wears Kool-Aid tee-shirts, has a Kool-Aid poster on his wall, and shelves full of books about how awesome Kool-Aid is.

            The ‘advanced’ kids are not harmed as a class. This is exactly what my brother used to tell me about my daughter who when she was in public school simply spent the days reading fantasy books while the teacher failed to take control of the class.

            “The statistics say she’ll be just fine,” he told me. She’ll go to college, she’ll do fine, she’ll get a good job, and in the meantime she can model better and more studious behavior for the other students.

            How many of the ‘disruptive’ students are actually ‘advanced’ students who have been knocked off track? I was kicked out of the advanced program in ninth grade because I couldn’t take the monotony of algebra homework and wouldn’t do it despite never getting below a 97% on a test, and once I was sleeping in the ‘slow track’ classes, they decided I was on drugs (I wasn’t – yet).

            So your concerns that these categories may be self-reinforcing and that researchers may be finding only and exactly what they are looking for is noted, and the fact that I now tighten my belt to keep my daughter in a private school should tell you how much I think of this paradigm in the end.

            1. I’m glad you clarified it because your brother is just wrong. The statistics do not support his allegations even as a general rule. He might have been right about your daughter – based on his prior knowledge of her personality and, perhaps more importantly, the fact that she’s a girl. Boys, on the other hand, are statistically much more likely to get labeled as disruptive and to end up down-tracked over behavior.

              More to the point, the ‘advanced kids’ don’t “model better and more studious behavior”. They get it without studying – which means they end up “modelling” very poor study habits (which are nevertheless sufficient to get them through those slow classes).

              1. Boys, on the other hand, are statistically much more likely to get labeled as disruptive and to end up down-tracked over behavior.

                Yeah – there’s definitely some circularity in the baseline categories. And if I truly believed she’d be “fine,” I’d have left her in public school. But as a gifted child who wound up dropping out of high school in bitterness and frustration (and was seeing signs of the same in my daughter), I called bullshit on his statistics.

                More to the point, the ‘advanced kids’ don’t “model better and more studious behavior”.

                Yeah – if anyone used me as a model, they’d have failed out of algebra in seventh, eighth, and ninth grades!

            2. “…she can model better and more studious behavior for the other students.”

              Social Lysenkoism. If you put the good students next to the bad ones, the bad ones will notice and change to be like the good ones. Does it work in sports or in music or in art? Why would you think it works for algebra and physics and chemistry?

              1. If you put the good students next to the bad ones, the bad ones will notice and change to be like the good ones. Does it work in sports or in music or in art? Why would you think it works for algebra and physics and chemistry?

                Well, when you put bad students next to good ones during testing, the bad ones’ test scores come up. Which proves they’re picking up good academic habits, right?

                  1. All I know is Jeffrey Epstein did not kill him self

        3. “If you leave the ‘advanced’ kids in with everyone else, statistically speaking everyone else benefits without really harming the ‘advanced’ kids (measurably). On the contrary, when you remove the advanced kids, the metrics for the ‘left behind’ students definitely decline.”

          This is not at all confirmed by studies and there is a lot of disagreement. There are many studies that show the benefits to both sets of kids by separating them. Kids who need more help can be embarrassed and not engage, or will be overshadowed by the kids having it easier. Additionally, when kids of like skills are grouped together, the teacher can focus on the lessons they need to learn rather than on more broad curriculum. This is why most elementary schools tend to break up kids into different groups for reading and for math.

          1. This is not at all confirmed by studies and there is a lot of disagreement.

            Yes – it depends absolutely on which metrics you prioritize. The ‘anti-tracking’ paradigm is about the school system’s metrics, not the metrics for the success of any particular individual student.

            And your examples speak to what I was saying about tracking actually being easier for teachers, by way of refuting the notion that abandoning tracking is about teachers’ preferences – it’s about ideology and the self-preservation of the public system.

      2. Nope, I’ve read the arguments over and over. It really is that they feel that the school district should not be spending any money to educate privileged children (the gifted kids) while there are less privileged kids failing. And that the discrepancy between test scores is too great, and as such any efforts that would widen the gap (teaching the smart kids more advanced stuff) they see as evil.

        And that right there is why forcing equality of outcome is EVIL.

        1. Yes, the Socialists’ goal of equal misery is undesirable.

    2. Sad to say but these HCC kids are most likely smarter than their teachers and the administrators. If I were an astronaut, I would want my rocket designed by the kid from the the gifted class, not the one who was ‘mainstreamed’ or put in to fill a quota – regardless of his or her race. Same for my doctor. This is simply petty people trying to ensure no one who is smarter than them actually achieves more.

  3. “The program has historically been dominated by white and Asian students”

    Well that settles it. I learned in college that whenever white and Asian American people outperform African American, Latinx, and Native American people, it can only be the result of WHITE SUPREMACY and SYSTEMIC RACISM. So either design a comprehensive affirmative action policy to ensure diversity, or scrap the program entirely.

    #DiversityAboveAll
    #LibertariansForAffirmativeAction

    1. Maybe better educating families (parents) would be a better path, rather than a well-known path to equal misery.

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    1. There’s nothing standard about our deviants!

    2. “and have to enjoy it.”

      Don’t tell me what to do.

  5. I really don’t understand why the district can’t set up a school (or a number schools) that selects specifically for the most academically able students. Especially so if it’s a high school where all students in the district take an exam at the end of elementary school, and these schools take at most the top 30% of all students either in the district or the area of the district that the selective school covers, in a similar fashion to the German Gymnasium

    1. Because that is racist, duh.

      1. Even if every student, no matter his/her race takes the test, and all the scripts are completely anonymous?

        1. The argument that it’s racist hinges on the idea that the kids who don’t score well aren’t scoring poorly because they’re inherently less smart, they’re scoring poorly because their previous schooling oppressed them and didn’t give them the opportunities that the white and asian kids did.

          In the eyes of the perpetually oppressed, there’s no way to remove the racism from the system. The system itself is racist. This of course removes all responsibility from the parents and children themselves, which again is a feature and not a bug.

          1. The welfare state encouraging (through “perverse incentives”) black households without fathers present predates the war on drugs by quite a few years and one could argue helped pave the way for the war on drugs and the negative impacts drugs have on communities.

            1. That was supposed to be a response to a comment further down.

    2. Why does testing have to be involved? Why not let anyone who’s so inclined take more advanced classes? And the teachers could provide guidance to students as to whether they’re qualified. When I was in K-12 we didn’t have testing. Anyone whom the teachers felt capable could move up. But that was back in the dark ages (1960’s) when teachers were given a lot of authority.

      1. Mainly so it’s more objective than, say, as in your example, the teacher feeling that a student is capable. I do think the advanced classes should be available, whether online or as an extra elective period, even in the comprehensive high schools, or in the vocational high schools (perhaps some of the electives in comprehensive high schools might be compulsory in vocational high schools)

        1. Mainly so it’s more objective than, say, as in your example, the teacher feeling that a student is capable.

          ^ This. Which again goes back to race – there’s a sense that a teacher will interpret problem behavior in a white kid as a sign that the kid is not being challenged, whereas problem behavior in a black kid just shows you what type he is. The white kid will be put in an accelerated program, the black kid will be disciplined repeatedly until he drops out.

          That’s why teacher discretion was replaced with coldly anonymous ‘objective’ testing, which also turned out to be racist.

          1. I was not a beneficiary of this particular type of supposed my white privilege.

            Was purposefully kept out of the Academic Excellence program in elementary school despite being selected by the program, because, according to my teacher, I was “a behavioral problem.” I ended up floating around in a vast sea of mediocrity until college.

            1. I was not a beneficiary of this particular type of supposed my white privilege.

              I think it’s overstated, yeah. I, too, was deemed a behavioral problem and tossed into the ‘vast sea of mediocrity’ rather than taken aside and given the special attention I was supposed to get as a White Man. Although I was considered depressive and alienated rather than disruptive, so I flew under the radar and wasn’t subjected to much disciplinary action.

              The trouble with “White Privilege” is that only some white people get to have it.

          2. Perhaps I should have added trying to reduce favouritism from teachers and other academic staff, even within 1 racial group. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’d be students, who even though they’d be academically qualified to join the accelerated or gifted programmes, they’re not recommended for them, either because the teacher has taken a dislike to those students, or they may have a learning/ developmental disability like Aspergers Syndrome, and the teacher thinks that students with such conditions cannot possibly succeed in those kind of programmes, even if that student is actually able to do so.

            1. Don’t get me wrong – I completely agree with giving teachers discretion, in much the same way that I think a huge problem with the current justice system is the extent to which judges have been stripped of discretion, which theoretically is what judges are there for.

              Teacher discretion is obviously far from perfect, as both my and Muzzled Woodchipper’s experiences attest, but it beats the hell out of anonymous double-blind testing.

      2. Imagine all the kids who had some aptitude and motivation decided to go into the advanced track, no test scores required.

        Who in their right mind would sign up to try and babysit what’s left?
        The truth is, there’s a good chunk of kids who are not designed for school, and do be better off going into manual labor trades at 9, 10, 11 years old.

        1. Who in their right mind would sign up to try and babysit what’s left?

          This is the main argument against school choice, in a nutshell.

          The truth is, there’s a good chunk of kids who are not designed for school, and do be better off going into manual labor trades at 9, 10, 11 years old.

          ^ This. I went to high school long enough ago that we still had shop classes. I knew lots of kids who would have gladly taken six periods of shop if they were allowed to. I, OTOH, never took a single shop class, because I just don’t enjoy that kind of thing.

          On a related note, my dad is a pretty smart guy, but has some fairly serious authority issues, a prickly personality, and a deep love of cars. He didn’t last one semester in college, but by the time he was in his 30s, many people told me he was the best mechanic in the state.

          By the time he was in his early 40s he was the service manager for a Lexus dealership and was making really good money (almost what I make now, but 30 years ago).

          If he’d have been forced through college and made to become an accountant, and engineer, or some other ‘respectable’ profession, he would have been an utter failure.

        2. “Who in their right mind would sign up to try and babysit what’s left?”

          The kind of person who wants to work 30 hours a week, 7 months out of the year. In other words, the typical teacher.

      3. When I was in school from the 1950s until 1970, we had testing, just not standardized. While teachers were given a lot of authority, by the time I hit middle school, it was obvious that some teachers were abusing that authority, and if you disagreed with one of them, you got low grades even if you knew the subject, and good grades without knowing the material if the teacher liked you.

  6. If my kid can’t be successful, then no one’s kid gets to be successful.

    Hooray equality.

    1. Hear hear, especially equality of outcome

  7. The People of Seattle are getting exactly what they asked for- repeatedly. Loudly. With virtue-signalling yard signs on practically every other fucking house.

    In this house we believe…

    Knuckle up, bitches. Your racialist politics won’t end well.

  8. Of COURSE they want to do this. They are terrified of people who might get their kids out of the government indoctrination camps run by the teacher’s union.

  9. “But if you want more than that, I guess you have to go to private school.”

    If you have the means, and any brains whatsoever, you’ll get your kids into private school forthwith.

    Public school is for people who can’t get out of it.

    1. This.

      Unfortunately, government school is not seen the same as government cheese or any other government “service” where the only people who use it are those who can’t afford otherwise. It’s viewed as the PRIMARY route of education and only those evil rich people or freaky religious fundamentalists refuse to succumb to it.

      1. It’s viewed as the PRIMARY route of education and only those evil rich people or freaky religious fundamentalists refuse to succumb to it.

        Yeah – this is the exact argument I’ve had with my brother and his ex-wife. My position was that if you are against school choice in the form of vouchers because you think we all have a duty to support the public school system, then you should be for outlawing private schools altogether. Otherwise, what you’re really advocating is school choice only for the rich.

        I’ve never gotten a straight answer to that.

  10. Some school leaders—including Superintendent Denise Juneau— want to make sure than no student is above average.

    1. You know that joke George Carlin made about imagining someone of average intelligence, and then realize that half of all people are even dumber than that?

      Seattle is trying to make sure that every last one of those dumber-than-average folks lives in Seattle. The long con is making sure all of them end up on government assistance because they’re too stupid to be able to leave their homes without a helmet.

      1. The world is a lesser place without George.

        Seattle is fortunate to have tech companies in the neighborhood to stem the rate of bright flight

    2. Some school leaders—including Superintendent Denise Juneau— can’t accept that some students are significantly smarter than her. want to make sure than no student is above average.

      FTFY

      1. After I graduated with my BS with a major in engineering and a minor in physics, I went to grad school to get my teaching certificate (this was before charters picked up a lot of steam). I did some research.
        It turns out that students in the undergraduate colleges of Education score in the lowest group of any college (i.e., engineering, natural science, etc.) on the SAT, and the same is true for graduate Education majors for the GRE.

        1. Not a surprise. I took the GRE ahead of pursuing an MSEE. It was barely a step above the SAT in complexity.

        2. ‘Education’ didn’t even used to be a University degree. When the CA public university system was created, it was two separate systems – one university system (the UC), and one vocational training facility for school teachers (the CSU), which was considered more a technical trade than a real field of study.

          At that time there simply was no such thing as a graduate program in ‘Education.’

        3. Sadly true. I edit doctoral dissertations for a university education department. The poor quality of writing that is produced by people who are already teaching is heartbreaking. The poor kids sitting in the classrooms are being defrauded by a cohort of clearly illiterate “teachers.”

  11. It’s disparate impact racism, Reason–you support this fucking monstrosity every other time it comes up–

    too many blacks in prison–racism
    too many blacks can’t afford bail–racism
    too many blacks stopped and frisked–racism
    too many blacks pulled over–racism

    Anything that impacts black people in a way you fuckers don’t like is racism.

    My daughter got thrown back in among the normals when the gifted program she was in was cancelled because there weren’t enough black kids in it. There was a higher percentage than anywhere else in the state, but it wasn’t enough. The program bent it’s head through it’s ass to get black parents whose kids qualified to let them do it, but no.

    So, because some black parents don’t want to be bothered with this great thing for their kids everyone has to suffer.

    1. That’s the truth of it. Kids doing well in school has nothing to do with race and everything to do with parenting. Kids of all races do well when their parents are invested in their success, and kids of all races do poorly when their parents are checked out.

      As a rule, Asian parents tend to be very strict with their kids about their grades. It’s not the system treating them better, or some inherent genetic advantage, it’s just that their parents don’t let them fail. Same with successful white kids, the parents are the reason the kid is doing well, because the kid understands that doing poorly is not an option.

      You can see this with black families too, the ones that discipline their children for failure tend to end up with successful children. For whatever reason, those parental behaviors don’t seem to be as common in the black community, and creating quotas won’t fix that. One could argue that the war on drugs and it’s racist enforcement has unfairly removed a lot of black fathers from their communities, and that is correct, but that isn’t a problem the school system can solve.

      1. I would simply add that it’s not the way in drugs primarily removing fathers from families. It’s the welfare state encouraging families with no fathers to begin with.

        1. There are a multitude of factors that result in what we’re seeing, including the one you mention. I’m trying to focus on ones the black community can realistically blame the state for, and the War on Drugs is #1 on that list in my opinion.

          I don’t think you can blame the state because you decided abandoning your family was a good idea. They might’ve incentivized you to do it, but at the end of the day you made that call and get to live with the consequences.

      2. One could argue that the war on drugs and it’s racist enforcement has unfairly removed a lot of black fathers from their communities, and that is correct,

        No. One couldn’t.

        This is the same ‘disparate impact’ bullshit.

        What removes some black men from their communities is the war on drugs. Not because of racism. Because they do or sell drugs openly. And they keep doing this. Despite seeing their friends and often their family busted for doing this very thing over and over and over again–for decades.

        You can watch them making their circuits in neighborhood parks. You can see the guys hanging on the corner, watching for cars.

        For the love of all the gods, sometimes they’re smoking it WHILE they’re selling it.

        There’s a word for what this is–and it’s not ‘racism’.

        But we pretend that it’s something else–some kind of systemic racism. Laws designed to catch only black men.

        But we all know it’s not.

        Like we all know that the reason more black kids get detention isn’t because they’re singled out–it’s because they’re punching out. And often, they’ll do it right in front of teachers. Or TO teachers.

        Disparate impact is a way of avoiding having to admit that yes, the reason a law is having a disproportionate impact on a certain group is because that group is disproportionately engaging in that activity in a way that will get them caught.

        1. Crack cocaine historically was punished far harsher than powdered cocaine, there’s a racial reason for that. Congress has even admitted as much and put a little effort into correcting it.

          I can tell you that in a lot of places, a white guy getting busted with a little weed gets handled differently than a black guy getting busted with the same amount of weed. Many of my friends got busted with weed growing up, none of them have anything on their record or even spent a day in jail. Black kids the next town over were getting the book thrown at them for the same “crime”.

          The entire war on drugs is unjust regardless of race. No one should go to jail for engaging in commerce with willing customers. Crimes have victims, and there are no victims in a drug deal. If you honestly believe drug laws are enforced evenly you haven’t been paying attention.

  12. The problem is the concept of the classroom. Everyone in a room must be taught at the same low level. It’s the great dumbing down of the American student.

    But we used to have single room schools. My grandma taught at one. Every grade in the same room. Every student learning at their own pace. That’s what these gifted programs do, they let smart kids learn at a smarter level. But the system can’t handle that. So it has to stop these programs so that every students knows that they are just a cog in the machine.

    Why the fuck do you think 99% of politicians send their kids to private schools? Because they know the system is rigged because they’re inside that system.

    1. My dad grew up in a one room school, and there’s another advantage to have all those age groups in one spot. The older kids can spend time helping the younger kids, so if the teacher is busy your kid isn’t sitting their with their thumb up their ass, an older kid is helping educate them.

      It also put some of the older kids in kind of a teaching role, and teaching a subject can give you a level of understanding about it that you won’t achieve just by reading about it.

      1. ^ This. The age-cohort model of education is retarded. Full stop.

      2. Way too messy for the bean counters.

        1. Yeah, at this point I suspect that an older white kid teaching a younger minority kid is an actual hate crime so the model doesn’t work anymore.

    2. Absolutely. The thing that the unions and the statist educrats don’t like to admit, is that the 20th century model of public schooling was developed specifically to churn out factory workers. The great “progressive” education establishment back then (Horace Mann for one) didn’t want independent, creative thinking citizens. They wanted a simple model that could churn out widgets. The widgets being basically educated simpletons who could follow instructions.

  13. Undoing such hoarding “is delicate territory,” the scholar Richard Reeves explained a few years back, because “improving rates of upward relative mobility from the bottom comes with a sting in the tail: it requires more downward mobility from the top.”

    This from a “scholar”?? Dude needs to take another statistics course. (Unless of course, he was simply point out that the statist education thugs will make it hard because that is the argument that they will make).
    This statement is ONLY true from the standpoint of percentiles. It is true that not everyone can score in the 99th percentile. But, that has nothing to do with how much students learn.
    To grossly oversimplify, a class entering 8th grade performs according to a certain statistical distribution on pre-testing. If all students learned the same amount as the best student, the classes post-test statistical distribution would still be the same. A kid who is the bottom quartile would STILL be in the bottom quartile (of course is absolute score would be great. )

  14. “manufactured brilliance”???
    “opportunity hoarding” ???

    How about hoarding manufactured outrage?

  15. We all know what the outcome will be. By aiming for the lowest common denominator, the quality of public school education will decline, and those who can’t afford better will be stuck. Those who can afford better will send their kids to private schools. This has been going on for quite a while in the Bay Area where I live. The unions and the government are ghetto-izing public schools.

    1. This has been going on for quite a while in the Bay Area where I live. The unions and the government are ghetto-izing public schools.

      And it’s about to implode completely. I work in education on the facilities end, and my recent experience with both Hayward Unified and West Contra Costa Unified is that the local truism that ‘Bay Area voters will always vote in favor of school bonds” is about to be falsified. Hayward in particular is in very bad shape, and the state of their facilities is a serious impediment to being able to hire teachers and attract students (I’ve heard Oakland Unified has similar issues, but I’ve successfully avoided working in that district). People in both HUSD and WCCUSD are beyond pissed at how bond money has been misspent, but each district desperately needs about a billion dollars (apiece) to even begin addressing the issues.

      The next few years are going to be very ugly for Bay Area public schools.

      1. If people would stop breeding like flies, it would get better fast – think 10 years.

  16. my local public school isn’t exactly highly rated, but my kids go there because they have exactly this sort of program.

    If Arizona ever decided to pursue this nonsense i would instantly move them to private school. I do not owe it to the other human mozzarella sticks to not pursue the best educational opportunities for my own children.

    1. Correct. I was only concerned about the education of one student in the class. Mine. Could not give 2 shits about what the rest of them learned or did not learn.

      1. And public school is wholly unfocused on the individual, getting masses of cattle through the system is far more important.

        When I was in elementary school, I was always a fast reader. I attribute this to my dad reading to me when I was young. In any case, I always finished assignments before other kids in the class. Being a 7 year old boy, just sitting there quietly when I was done was not my strong suit. As a result, I’d get up and go draw stuff on the chalkboard, or try to talk with my classmates, or do anything a bored 7 year old boy might come up with for entertainment.

        This resulted in a meeting with my parents where it was suggested that I was disruptive, and that perhaps I had ADHD and needed medication. My mom pointed out that perhaps I was just bored, and that if the teacher gave me another assignment I might just work on that instead of the other stuff I was doing. The teacher looked at my mom like she had an extra leg growing out of her forehead or something.

        The teacher was entirely focused on what she expected out of the group, not what she expected out of me. Rather than encourage the kid who was moving faster than everyone else, that behavior was to be discouraged at all costs. That teacher tried to hold me back a year, and from what I understand that only didn’t happen because my parents had a much less cordial meeting with her on the subject.

  17. When equal opportunity doesn’t give equal results…you have this…

    This won’t impact the wealthy parents who can send their kids to private schools but the immigrant and lower middle class whose parents can’t due to the f’ing high property taxes needed to hire a teacher for every slow kid. I saw this at my kid’s public school…they honestly had what they called a paraprofessional teacher with each “special needs” kid. Sorry but some kids are smart and some are not…it is not up to society to stop those who are faster so make the slower finish at the same place…it might make the woke educational “experts” feel better but it does no one any good.

    1. It should be, though. Genetic engineering for the win!

  18. Home schooling is an arduous endeavor, and certainly not appropriate for everyone.
    However, the alternatives to home schooling, consistently serve to assure that I’ve made the right choice.

  19. Bureaucrats and Politicians are just as stupid as they are arrogant. Which is really one horrible set of traits to have at the same time.

  20. It reminds of Kurt Vonnegut’s dystopian vision in Harrison Bergeren where the government finally amends the Constitution such that all Americans are fully equal and not allowed to be smarter, better-looking, nor more physically able than anyone else. Anyone showing better than average skills and qualities is fitted with various handicap devices that hinder them and assure they are no better than anyone else.

    How does that resonate with smart kids being denounced as having just “manufactured brilliance” and forced back into a one size fits all program?

  21. If all schooling was private you’d have plenty of choices.

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  23. Great It’s a really serious matter for parents good job
    for making fool of parents.

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  25. We are every sensitive these days to “gifted” programs that don’t include he right number for black people. Must be something wrong. Couldn’t possibly be that they are not good students? Has to be discrimination. I mean we all know that math is now racist since the math test doesn’t yield the right results based on skin color.

    The varsity basketball team is for those who are “gifted” at basketball. Wonder how diverse that team is? Are there enough white and Asian players?

    Same folks don’t care about the diversity of that program.

    Diversity is dumb. Merit is what matters.

    1. You are just not woke. Merit is no longer even on the list of things to consider. Diversity is our strength, period! Tests should be rigged whenever necessary to get the right results. That is called social justice for those of you not woke enough to find your wee wee when you got to pee pee. Diversity is our strength and merit is our weakness.

  26. I am pleased to have my child in Catholic School where we get good educational value for the dollars spent.
    Next year she will attend the A rated public school in wealthy Boca Raton (where there are plenty of excelling minority students, mostly in the ROTC program) where our other two went, who are now at university on Bright Futures scholarships.
    The above article shows what happens when leftist tyrants take over the school board.

  27. “He who pays the piper calls the tune.” In Amerikan education, it is the taxpayer who has the right to call the tune, not the parent. The PTA is flawed. It should be called the TA to honor the taxpayer. Lots of Amerikans are child-free, but pay through the nose in property taxes to support Amerikan mis-education in Arizona and elsewhere. Where is their voice heard above the din of deadbeat parents and teachers?

  28. According my principal, I was the smartest kid in the school. I was the worst possible example for my fellow students. Never studied, never excelled, always bored. Straight D’s & F’s in math because I had problems conforming to the complexities of solutions I had to follow (I was penalized for using my own shortcuts). In my SAT my math score qualified me for any top ranked university in the country, my grades, not so much. My mom taught for over 50 years. I come from a constant line of educators going back 170 years that I’ve been able to confirm. Using language that Ms. Juneau apparently might find exemplary in her student bodies … The Seattle School Board am dumb! … And my ancestors would be rolling over in their graves had they read of this travesty of trust!

  29. After I read this, I realized that even now, just as it was when I was in elementary school sixty years ago, and when my kids were in school thirty years ago, educators still have not figured out that in education, one size does not fit all. Every child learns different things at different rates, and to always throw the same age group in the same classes works for the average kids, but not the overachievers nor the underachievers. Children should be put in classes that challenge them, but not overwhelm them. If that means that a fifth grader winds up in a sixth grade math class and a fourth grade English class, that’s fine if it helps the student learn at his best rate. Of course, the best way to know where a child should be placed is through standard testing, but we cannot do that until we find a way to hide the tests from the teachers until they are administered. That would prevent ‘teaching to the test’, a common failure in our school system today.

  30. It is a shame that an area of the country with so much natural beauty is so eaten up with the dumbass. Seattle is becoming a S hole as the lunatic fringe of he left keeps on going further out in lala land. These idiots don’t care that gifted students are the creme de la creme of students and most likely are tomorrow’s leaders and should be assisted in every manner possible…but Noooooo the fools in charge, in the name of B S ‘diversity’ which is nothing but left wing hype that has infected the left for two generations. Diversity is not only unnecessary, but it is actually hurting people who do not fit the mold that mind numbed libs have embraced and foisted upon small minded people who believe all of the liberal psychobabble. People should be free to CHOOSE who they work, love, and associate with. Dumb stuff like the Seattle misfits are doing should be a crime.

  31. How about getting rid of the special programs for retards and failures who will never amount to jack squat anyway? There’s the money hole, if you ask me – trying to make silk purses from sow’s ears.

    1. You don’t sound very woke to me. What we need to do in order to have social justice is make more sows ears out of silk purses. That is what we should be doing instead of wasting time in school trying to teach kids how to read.

  32. Education system should be kept away from such discussions. Best wishes from Types of Sentences

  33. A similar battle is being fought in NYC.

    Led by the “usual” Leftist “suspects” there has been a call to eliminate advanced placement testing for admission to specialized high schools (l.e.The Bronx High School of Science.).

    The argument is based on “disparate impact theory.”

    The Left’s “identity stormtroopers” led by Democrat Hauptsturmführer De Blasio are outraged by the “disproportionate” representation of Asian students in these schools.

    They contend the only explanation for this “excessive” Asian representation beyond their percentage in the population is de facto discrimination against students of color.

    Suggesting in the alternative that specific cultures might place greater emphasis on academic achievement and teach delayed gratification is considered beyond the pale.

    Blasphemers who break Democrat Party “identity Sharia” risk being subjected to inquisition and subsequent “cancellation”.

    Indeed, the Democratic Party’s complicit media propaganda unit has coined slogans to further the campaign to mitigate academic achievement as a factor in admission to academically advanced schools.

    Asian students who crush the exams are said to have benefited from undeserved “Asian privilege”, and are classified as “white adjacent.”

    Apparently children who perform best on tests designed to measure the likelihood of success in a rigorous academic environment have an unfair advantage over children who do poorly on those exams.

    (I suspect there is a logical fallacy there, but I’m ill equipped to say. As a graduate of the NYC public school system, formal logic, and (btw) punctuation, products of the evil “Western patriarchal,misogynist, hegemonic, oppressor, imperialist culture” were not taught.)

    Asians (joining American Jews) now find themselves pushed to the bottom of the Democrat Party’s “ hierarchy of victimhood”, only just above the hated descendants of white Europeans.

    While this ‘identity crusade” is carried out, the utter failure of American unionized public schools to teach their students to nominally read and do basic mathematics is beyond pathetic.

    “…the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress, aka The Nation’s Report Card,…” indicated that “… Only 37 percent of 12th-graders tested proficient or better in reading, and only 25 percent did so in math.
    Among black students, only 17 percent tested proficient or better in reading, and just 7 percent reached at least a proficient level in math.

    1. Obviously these test are all rigged against the woke people. Therefore, social justice requires that the tests be re-rigged so that the woke blacks will score at least 100%. Nobody will dare to argue with the social justice warriors. We rule because we are woke. We graduated from Oberlin College with degrees in wokeness. Better be careful because we are watching you!

  34. I have a very very bad feeling about the negative terms used by the activists who are quoted in the article. Especially the term “opportunity hoarders.” Hoarders and wreckers are terms that were used to great effect in the twentieth century to stoke envy and reduce actual people to disposable objects. You see these ideas and terms starting “small” in news coming from woke countries (Scandanavia, Canada), cities, and especially from academia. You hope these ideas will be confined to a small cohort ; just those Swedish nutters or those insular academic hippies teaching at Oberlin. Except the transmission of these ideas and their adoption by those in power seems to be seamless now. By the time regular people become aware there’s a problem, there’s almost no way to fight back. See, e.g., young children now being taught in public school that they can pick their sex and they may be a boy, girl, both, or neither. These destructive gender identity concepts are entrenched already and it’s been about five minutes since the concepts were first floated. It looks like “opportunity hoarders” is another powerful tool that has already been added–without discussion or mainstream approval– to the endlessly-growing array available to those who want to fundamentally transform (and destroy) all the things.

    1. I am with you because I am woke. Like, when I am at the mall and have to go to the bathroom and find that the men’s room is locked I go in the lady’s room. What I do is become a woman for the time it takes to take a piss and then I transition back to being a man as I leave the bathroom. That is the new America and it social justice that has to rule. The bottom line is, “when you gotta go, you gotta go!”

  35. ‘When educators don’t see their parents and students as customers, they make some really stupid decisions.’

    I agree with the above statement in part! The part is ‘When educators don’t see their parents as customers, . . .
    The parents are the customers and the educators are selling education. Schools are selling education to the parents for their children. Schools are the education factories and the the (educated) student is the product. If a factory turns out sub-par products that factory will go out of business unless it is the only factory with that product.
    But public education cannot compete with charter schools on the educating the students so if charter schools are allowed to exist the public schools will not have students.
    But when parents choose to send their children to a private school when there is no charter school in the area that parent is being taxes twice. Once when the state collects taxes which are used to educate the state’s children and then again when they have to pay for the education that the state pays for the other children but not for those going to a private school.
    So since the state has chosen to pay for the education of its students then the parents should have the right where they send their children. The education dollars belong to the parents and should be available to be spent where the parents wants as long as the education is as good as or better that the public schools can do the job. This applies to both private schools and to religious schools as long as they teach an equivalent coarse of studies.

  36. There is a fairly straightforward and commonly used method to equalize the system and keep the gifted program for all the children. Come up with another fake test that will give fake results and give it to the black kids and they will come out as geniuses on this test and the whole gifted program will suddenly become heavily black. The only problem that can possibly happen is these blacks kids do not show up on the day of the test to take the rigged test. After you have given the rigged test you create rigged classes and rigged grades so that the black kids will all come out with 4 point or better grade point averages and maintain their positions in the gifted classes. The schools will then be able to brag about how diverse the gifted program is and how their gifted program is loaded to the gills with a bunch of blacks and, you cannot leave out Hispanics from the mix, and Hispanics. The Asians will flunk out because they will quickly think that something is wrong with the test. They will be right but this will cause them to flunk. No Asians in the mix like they normally are. The same thing will happen to the Jews. Out they will go. No Jews, just blacks and hillbillies. This is a very clear and fair system that puts blacks at the top of the class by using social and racial justice. Blacks truly belong at the top anyhow and this way no oppression and they will be at the top of the rigged system. This gives them the feeling of accomplishment (Feelings are all that count) and so forth so that when you graduate them with fake grades they can get fake jobs that pay with real checks, of course. Folks, that is how it is done today. Wake up and be woke. I should be appointed the Secretary of Education because I came up with a tried, true and fully tested plan to return diversity as our strength to the schools in the Northwest. This is how we do things in places like New York, Taxachussets and other similar locales. You can do it too. Just be a wee bit creative and you will have true diversity is our strength schools all over your district. How great that will feel. The children will feel a sense of accomplishment and they will feel like they are no longer an oppressed bunch of idiots. They will feel smart even if they cannot read or write. So what! They can type on the computer keyboard and get by, right? This is how it is done today. Keyboarding is the savior. Oh yeah! This plan works in every field. Do the same thing in medicine. The patients will never know the difference. Some people will die. So what! Things are never perfect in medicine. Just rig the system some more to make it a diversity is our strength system like in Haiti. That is all that counts to make society happy. We put little babies in booster seats so lets boost the children a little bit more. We can all be boosters. Make them all happy to think they can and will be nuclear physicists and doctors and lawyers and bosses of industry. No more back alley craps games. Oh no. They will be in the bored room playing rap music at bored meetings. (Spelling is intentional, don’t even think about it) We can pay them huge bucks and then hire some hillbilly idiots to do the jobs they are being paid to do. We will have true diversity is our strength at work, everywhere you look you will see diversity. You know, diversity means to kick out the whypipo. They are called whypipo I think. Don’t complain. It’s only a wee tiny bit of an adjustment to the scores. I don’t know what the problem is with you people. You must be a bunch of racists is all you are. It’s time for some real diversity around here. You better get used to it and now too! This is the new America a much kinder, gentler and fairer society with social justice ahead of everything. Diversity is our strength even if we have to fake it a wee bit. There is nothing wrong with a wee bit of fakery to make things come out fair. We will tax you more too and make that fair and then split the money up along diverse lines. Oh yeah! Diversity is our strength you know.

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