Saturday, November 13, 2021

The Democrats' School Problem: It's Not Just Critical Race Theory

As James Hohmann points out in the Post:
"A week after Republicans won the Virginia governor’s race, it is increasingly obvious that Fox News and red Twitter did not invent parental anger about what’s been happening in public schools. Nor is frustration limited to the suburbs — or peculiar to the Old Dominion. Efforts to lower academic standards and scale back educational opportunities in the name of racial equity are backfiring on liberals from coast to coast, including in the bluest big cities in America.
Consider San Francisco. Mayor London Breed (D) just endorsed the recall of three far-left school board members in a February special election, including someone she appointed in 2018. Other Democratic officeholders and donors also back their removal, and recall organizers submitted 80,000 signatures to remove the commissioners, undercutting the argument that this is some right-wing conspiracy.
The recall has been a long time coming. Anger boiled over in the Bay Area as schools stayed closed months after most districts restarted classes. The San Francisco board voted in January to rename 44 schools, including those that honored George Washington, Paul Revere and Abraham Lincoln, before reversing itself amid national mockery in April. But the board’s most fateful mistake may have been messing around with Lowell High School.
Lowell has long been one of the United States’ most prestigious public schools. Alumni include three Nobel laureates and Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer. Rather than try to make other schools as great as Lowell, the school board voted to start admitting students there by lottery — and no longer consider grade-point average, essays and test scores.
Eliminating gifted and talented programs has become fashionable on the left, based on well-intentioned desires to close the achievement gap for African American and Latino students, but it’s alienating many parents — as well as graduates — who prospered under higher standards. Throwing less-prepared students into classes with motivated children forces teachers to reduce the rigor of lesson plans so that everyone can keep up....
Breed’s warning is a reminder that national Democrats risk being branded as the anti-education party if they don’t speak out more forcefully against continuing assaults on gifted and talented programs.
The Virginia governor’s race shows the issue’s potency. While much has been made of Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s emphasis on critical race theory, the Republican also promised to fight against weakening standards for magnet schools. He said he would push for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a top-flight school in Fairfax County, to revert to a solely merit-based admission process. Last year, the local school board eliminated an entrance exam for the school and told reviewers to instead consider “experience factors,” such as a child’s socioeconomic background."
Where this will really kill Democrats is among Asian voters. This was utterly predictable in advance when the attack on gifted programs and test-based admissions began. How could Democrats not see this coming? It boggles the mind. And now they're starting to reap what they sowed. You saw this in Virginia and it is vividly apparent in the recent New York City election results with big swings toward the GOP and conservatives in Asian-heavy areas (see link below).
Yup, the Democrats have a school problem. They need to wake up to his immediately if not sooner. The next elections are just a year away.

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