It’s beyond disgraceful that Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza are exploiting the pandemic to forward their war on standards in the public schools.
On Friday, they announced they’re scrapping academic-based screening for middle schools this year, substituting an admissions lottery. Carranza claims this is “simpler and fairer,” because remote learning was a particular challenge to lower-income families.
In fact, it’s more about axing the standards at the 196 screened middle schools, which will now have to handle students who aren’t prepared for their curricula. Do the schools dumb everything down? Or add special classes for kids who aren’t ready — or simply flunk children misassigned thanks to this nonsense?
It’s not actually boosting opportunity for the underprivileged: It’s a step toward removing the opportunity for a challenging middle-school education for children who are prepared for it.
Fine: The pandemic made it harder to use the normal screening procedures, but it was still possible to salvage some of them. The mayor and chancellor are instead seizing on the crisis to indulge their dubious ideology.
The real way to add opportunity for less-privileged kids is to improve the schools that now fail to teach them enough to make it into a screened school — or to open new selective middle schools designed to help them catch up.
The de Blasio-Carranza approach, as Matt Welch noted in Saturday’s Post, will simply drive middle-class kids out of the public system. Indeed, it gives these families one more reason to move out of the city altogether.
This isn’t boosting equity: It’s an attack on excellence.
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