Studies showed that white and Asian students were enrolling in precalculus math classes at rates of two to four times the rates of black and Hispanic students. To conceal this uncomfortable discrepancy, the diversity ideologues ended the tracking that enables advancement by talented math students, and in some districts started requiring everyone to take low-level math classes in high school even though they are too easy for some.
School districts in Democrat-controlled cities, particularly in California, have imposed “de-tracking” to choke off opportunities for high-achieving math students. The purported goal is to provide the same access to advanced math to all students, but the effect is to hold back talented students who have the aptitude to qualify for higher-level classes. A Stanford study earlier this year showed that de-tracking causes smarter kids to be denied an opportunity for advancement, while yielding no measurable improvement for the kids who were left behind in regular classes. If anything, their progress got worse rather than better.
“Leveling,” another name for de-tracking, prevents students with greater math aptitude from progressing to more advanced material. Distraught parents in the ultra-Democratic enclaves of Silicon Valley and San Francisco filed lawsuits earlier this year to challenge this liberal ideology imposed on the schools. An impressive total of 50 San Francisco parents filed their lawsuit in March to challenge the leveling or de-tracking policy. The parents want the public schools to restore an Algebra I class to middle school, and stop requiring talented students to retake the same class in ninth grade if they have previously passed it. On Aug. 29, a Palo Alto school board meeting heard from two-dozen students complaining about the de-tracking. One pointed out how a math placement test appeared designed to block accelerated course enrollment.
These anecdotes give two key lessons that every parent should know. First, the diversity ideologues want nothing more than to create equally bad outcomes for all students, holding back our best and brightest. Second, it is possible to successfully challenge these awful policies, thereby creating a better future for our children.