Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash, edited
Kids are back in school now, but schools are not back to excellence. Our students lag far behind the rest of the world in basic learning, including a dismal ranking in the bottom third in math skills among industrialized nations with whom we compete. Math is a casualty of the Leftist takeover of education, which makes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) more important than teaching basic skills. When schools postpone algebra to the ninth grade, students never complete the basic math they need for a STEM-related job.
In their mindless push for greater diversity, New York Democrats recently dropped the words “math and science” from the name of their once-elite Math & Science Exploratory School in Brooklyn. Test scores at that middle school have plummeted from more than 95% of 7th-graders passing the math exams a half-decade ago to merely 69% passing last year.
The school used to select students based on academic performance, thereby giving families an incentive to compete for admission. But under the DEI approach imposed by New York’s Democrat politicians, the renamed Exploratory School now uses a lottery to select its students, and 52% of accepted students must come from unstable, impoverished, or non-English speaking families.
Math is one of the biggest casualties. The Left disliked how some groups do better at math, particularly advanced math, and this conflicts with the DEI political agenda. Math competitions are usually won by boys, for example, so prizes and awards are not inclusive. The Leftist solution is to eliminate honors and awards, lumping all the kids together in one dumbed-down math program, and the end result is less achievement.
Taking away opportunities for students to excel may create equal outcomes for all, but the problem is that these outcomes are equally dismal. We must allow our nation’s students to have goals worth striving toward, which will make them not only better students, but better citizens as well. In an increasingly STEM-dominated world, creating opportunities in math and science is especially critical.