Activists are suing New York City for “perpetuating racism” in its school system. The reason? The school uses test scores, essays, student interviews, and other fact-based methods of ascertaining which public school students qualify for gifted school programs. NYC schools are accused of giving students a “Eurocentric” education and failing to recruit enough “people of color” to ensure that the faculty body isn’t mostly white.
Granted, the New York City public school system certainly has its problems. The lawsuit alleges that students who can’t get into gifted and talented school programs are relegated to failing, sub-par schools, and the plaintiffs are likely right. Many New York City teachers barely bothered to teach their students during the COVID-19 lockdowns, while many other students were either absent for online classes or barely paid attention to them.
The school system’s response to the issue was to scrap exams, stop issuing failing grades to students who don’t pass classes, and tell teachers to use factors such as “equity” and “motivation” to gauge class rank.
It’s not surprising that parents and children alike want to escape such a system. However, there is a solution other than ditching testing for academically advanced programs. Such programs have high requirements, and aren’t even suitable for those who can’t deal with the additional workload. That’s why students are selected based on their academic abilities rather than skin color.
As for the other allegations, the plaintiffs in the suit offer no alternative educational options to a “Eurocentric” education. It’s a hot-topic issue as various educational institutions have minimized the accomplishments of white historical figures while elevating the accomplishments of non-white historical figures.
However, it’s not just about history. The truth is that progressives have argued for a long time that math and English are inherently racist. What would a non-“Eurocentric” education look like? It’s hard to say, but it’s also hard to believe that it’s the answer to the NYC public school system’s many failures.
New York probably deserves to be sued for failing to provide the children in the city with an adequate education. Naturally, it’s the poor that are hardest-hit by the public-school system’s failings. However, the problems with the system have nothing to do with the number of white teachers who work there, what the history curriculum looks like, or the fact that academic scores are used to determine admission into high-level academic programs.
Claiming that racism is the cause of every single problem the nation faces isn’t doing anyone any favors. Rather, it will discourage all children from working hard. Considering how most children have missed out on school completely over the past year, that’s something we simply cannot afford.