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HS May Do Away With ‘Advanced’ Classes

From the Chicago Tribune:

Honors class leads to diversity debate

School may drop advanced English class in diversity effort

November 23, 2010

When he scans the faces in his honors science courses at Evanston Township High School, chemistry teacher William Farmer can easily see who’s missing: minority kids.

"Out of 26, you might have three nonwhite students," he said.

One of the most racially mixed high schools in Illinois, Evanston has a mission of embracing diversity and promoting equity and excellence for all students. But its own data show that few minority students make it into the school’s most rigorous courses that will best prepare them for college and the future

Across the Chicago region, high school officials say they are making inroads in diversifying their advanced classes, but Evanston is considering the boldest step of all: eliminating an elite honors English course that has traditionally been offered to the highest-achieving incoming freshmen — usually white

For the most part, freshmen of all races and socioeconomic and achievement backgrounds would learn together in the same freshman humanities class, an English course that blends literature, history, art, music and philosophy and is required for graduation. The class would be taught at the honors level, according to district officials, and all students would have the opportunity to earn honors credit depending on their grades on assignments.

The superachievers — freshmen who outscore about 95 percent of their peers nationally on eighth-grade achievement tests — would no longer have their own class, beginning next fall. A year later, the same approach would be taken with freshman biology classes, if the school board approves the proposal.

Evanston Township High School District 202 Superintendent Eric Witherspoon said he hopes Evanston’s plan will become a model for schools across the country.

"I’m excited about moving away from racially segregated classes," he said at a packed school board meeting earlier this week, adding that all freshmen should be taking challenging courses that will propel them to even more rigorous classes as upperclassmen.

Applause broke out in some, but not all, parts of the mostly white audience

Administrators insist that the new humanities course will be rigorous and challenging to all students.

"I can assure you that we will not be dumbing down the curriculum,” Assistant Superintendent Diep Nguyen told the Tribune…

And, of course, we believe him. 

The proposal to eliminate the honors-only class comes at a time when the Evanston high school has repeatedly failed to meet federal academic standards, requiring a major school overhaul to increase student performance.

The school spends more than $20,000 per student, one of the highest per-pupil expenditures in the state. But while white students have consistently scored high enough on state tests to meet the standards, black and Latino students lag far behind, according to state data.

Obviously, this is due to racism.

In Washington, the federal government is pushing for states to increase academic standards to better prepare students for college and work, and the U.S. Department of Education has stepped up civil rights monitoring that gauges whether schools are providing minority students access to rigorous programs.

In other words, the federal government has ‘Advanced Placement’ classes in their sights. So say goodbye to them.

In Illinois, about 71 percent of students in Advanced Placement classes were white in 2006, the most recent Office for Civil Rights data available. That compares with 9.7 percent black and 9.4 percent Latino students in AP that year

We can’t have that. If everyone can’t have gum, then no one can have gum. And this will certainly help test scores.

For the record, according to the 2000 census, Evanston is 62.56% white, 22.50% black, 6.11% Hispanic, 6.09% Asian, and 2.85% from ‘other races.’

Given that Asians and ‘other races’ are often grouped with whites in these breakdowns, having 71% whites in ‘Advanced Placement’ does not seem to be so far out of line, after all.

But remember when ‘quotas’ was an ugly word?

(Thanks to Infidel Joe for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, November 27th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “HS May Do Away With ‘Advanced’ Classes”

  1. untrainable says:

    Here’s a crazy thought. Why not “diversify” classes based on achievement instead of on the color of skin. The prevailing tradition seems to be cater to the lowest common denominator and screw the achivers. Yeah, that’s the way to educate. If there is one moron in the class, we have to bring everyone down to the moron level. The true lesson of socialism. Kiss the bright future of America goodbye. Before long we’ll all be speaking Chinese anyway, so what does it matter… right?

    “…we will not be dumbing down the curriculum” No? Oh, just dumbing down the students. Well, I suppose in order to “teach” liberalism to the little sponge brains, we have to dumb them down first. I mean we can’t have critical thinkers and expect them to swallow the liberal tripe that currently stands in for “education” these days.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    On a positive note, the result of this will be that the white and asian kids who are excelling may find themselves enrolled in private schools, a now-growing trend in this nation as more and more parents find public education lacking, a bastion for substandard performance and havens for bad behavior, tolerated (encouraged?) by union-protected teachers.

    Thus, the law of unintended consequences will play out yet again in the socialists’ dream of a fine utopia where everything is perfect and everyone is equal. Instead, the free market will determine what is “equal” and allow kids to get a leg up who deserve it. More and more private schools are cropping up and parents are largely grateful, in spite of the additional cost. But in areas where the “education system” is a huge social experiment failure, they have become absolutely necessary.

  3. proreason says:

    marker 872 on the road to serfdom

    • tranquil.night says:

      The Death Camp of Tolerance.

      And some wonder why our children are complacently – ecstatically in some cases – embracing the Police State.

      I WISH the only invasive interaction we had to deal with from government was a quick grope a couple times a year, because we’re getting screwed every single day in almost every single way.

  4. U NO HOO says:

    Bu’wheet not impressed…

    Hows about honors Ebonics?

    • Mister C says:

      Buck Wheat converted to Islam and is now known as Kareemov Wheet. His new double minority status may guarantee him a free seat in Ivy world…making a passing score in high school irrelevant.

  5. Papa Louie says:

    “Out of 26, you might have three nonwhite students,” he said.

    So, by all means, we must take away the chance for even those three nonwhite students to excel.

    In the same way that the left punishes the producers and rewards the moochers in our society, they also punish the achievers for the non-achievers refusal to excel.

    Providing an equal opportunity to the children of the “underprivileged” isn’t good enough. You must also punish the children of the “privileged” for the sins of their racist parents and grandparents and great grandparents…


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