Posted by Curt on 27 February, 2021 at 11:58 am. 6 comments already!


By Mike Miller

In yet another example of the complete grip “race” has on virtually every facet of American society, Boston Public Schools officials have announced that a program with advanced learning classes for high-performing students is being canceled over concerns that the advanced classes serve “disproportionate racial groups.”

The program was designed for high-performing students in grades four through six.

BPS Superintendent Brenda Cassellius recommended a one-year hiatus for the program, saying the school district would not proceed with the program for new students next year due to “a lot of inequalities.’

“There’s been a lot of inequities that have been brought to the light in the pandemic that we have to address. There’s a lot of work we have to do in the district to be antiracist and have policies where all of our students have a fair shot at an equitable and excellent education.”

That is profoundly disturbing on multiple levels, but we’ll get there.

According to GBS, a district analysis of the program found that more than 70 percent of enrolled students were white and Asian, even though nearly 80 percent of all Boston public school students are black and Hispanic. Ah, “empirical” data. And as to be expected, used to come to the wrong predetermined conclusion.

“This is just not acceptable,” said School Committee member Lorna Rivera in a January school meeting. “I’ve never heard these statistics before, and I’m very very disturbed by them,” she added while 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.

Here’s a bit of background, as reported by GBH.

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.

Students in the program have the opportunity to study subjects in greater depth and are offered more schoolwork than the traditional curriculum requires.

So there’s the culprit. Terra Nova is obviously “racist.” [sarc] From the Terra Nova website:

The TerraNova 2, also known as the CAT 6, is a nationally-recognized, norm-referenced test that meets most states’ annual testing requirements.

The TerraNova/CAT 6 was normed in 2005, and replaces the CAT 5.

It provides a series of tests that are easy to administer, stimulating to take, and most importantly extremely accurate in their assessment of student achievement.

The advanced learning program, known as Advanced Work Classes, is described in part on the AWC website as:

Advanced Work Class (AWC) is a full-time program in the Boston Public Schools that provides an accelerated academic curriculum for students in grades 4-6. This program includes subjects studied in greater depth, more schoolwork, and more home study than the traditional curriculum.

Excellence for All (EFA) is an initiative designed to ensure all learners in grades 4- 6 have access to high-quality, authentic learning experiences that prepare them for high school, college, and careers.

EFA schools focus on pushing students’ critical thinking, writing skills, and their ability to solve real-life challenges.

Students participate in Robotics, Coding, and World Language classes. Students also complete a capstone project at the end of the year and present their projects to parents, peers, and teachers.

Again, obviously slanted towards white and Asian students at the expense of black and Hispanic students. [and again, sarc]

According to GBH, students already enrolled in the program will continue, but programming decisions about if and how to continue will be made at the principal level. Any guesses?

District officials have launched a “working group” to determine the long-term future of the program and are expected to make a recommendation in May. How’d you like to be a fly on the wall when some of those discussions are taking place? No doubt the level of “advanced rationalization” will be off the charts.

Read more

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x