Look Out: The Woke Education Mob is Coming After “Racist” Gifted Programs

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Look Out: The Woke Education Mob is Coming After “Racist” Gifted Programs

The “social justice” brigade in education isn’t just making American children hate their country and themselves; it’s making our nation dumber.

A recent article published at NBC News encapsulates the anti-learning mentality at the heart of the Left’s education agenda.

The piece is titled “America’s gifted education programs have a race problem. Can it be fixed?” and features a description claiming that “White children and those from wealthy families are more likely to be identified as ‘gifted’ — despite decades of effort to make these programs more equal.”

The author, Danielle Dreilinger, who has a track record of writing about pet left-wing issues such as feminist history, diversity, and gentrification, makes the case that gifted education is problematic because such programs overrepresent white students:

Nearly 60 percent of students in gifted education are white, according to the most recent federal data, compared to 50 percent of public school enrollment overall. Black students, in contrast, made up 9 percent of students in gifted education, although they were 15 percent of the overall student population.

Many factors contribute to this disparity. Gifted education has racism in its roots: Lewis Terman, the psychologist who in the 1910s popularized the concept of “IQ” that became the foundation of gifted testing, was a eugenicist. And admissions for gifted programs tend to favor children with wealthy, educated parents, who are more likely to be white.

Dreilinger then goes on to argue in favor of policies that balance the proportion of white-to-minority students in gifted programs. She also believes tests to determine whether students are gifted should be updated to not exclusively measure “gifted” indicators that allegedly favor whites.

“For instance: Using achievement tests, which better measure a child’s schooling and home resources than their potential,” Dreilinger suggests. “Measuring disadvantaged kids against a national norm instead of against other kids like them. Testing too young — a 4-year-old can have a bad day, and the results don’t necessarily hold over time.”

Dreilinger prepared her article in collaboration with the Hechinger Report, a “nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education.”

Like most on the political spectrum who bemoan the lack of equality or proportionality in the representation of whatever sphere of life they’re looking at, Dreilinger and her associates at the Hechinger Report see “institutionalized” or “systemic” racism where none exists. There is nothing in the law today that sends minorities to the back of the bus and whites to the front. There are no school policies saying “give white students first priority” for entry into gifted programs.

There will never be equal or proportional representation in anything. Why isn’t the social-justice brigade concerned about the underrepresentation of white Americans in the NBA or the national track-and-field Olympic team?

Moreover, you can never create a 100-percent level playing field without falling into tyranny. Two students may have every opportunity in common in the classroom, but perhaps one of them has parents who force him to stay up late hitting the books while the other’s are more laid back. Perhaps one of the student’s parents can afford to get him a private tutor while the other’s can’t.

That’s simply life: We work with what we’re dealt with and make the best of it. The alternative is the government forcing itself into our lives, taking from some to give to others.

Everyone has different abilities and gifts. Some people have to work harder than others to get onto the varsity football team. Some people will never make the team, no matter how hard they practice. But not making the team doesn’t mean your life can’t be rewarding or fulfilling. There are so many other paths to success and happiness in life.

Likewise, not getting into a gifted program isn’t the end of the world. There are uncounted pathways to success. But just as letting anybody who wants to be an NFL player actually do it would ruin football, watering down the standards for gifted programs in a misguided attempt to be “inclusive” would be a disservice to everyone — including the minority students who really should be in them.

Like the push to lower standards by labeling concepts such as “objective thinking” and “hard work” nothing more than “whiteness,” and the notion that it’s racist to assume 2+2 always equals 4, injecting more political correctness into gifted programs is a sure way to further erode America’s already declining education system.

Courtesy of The New American