The obsession with diversity is going to undermine excellence in schools in this country. I say that reluctantly, but the evidence makes it hard to deny. The New York City system is a case in point. Mayor Bill deBlasio wants to eliminate academic screening for admissions to middle schools, replacing it with set quotas to engineer racial balance (“Park Slope is now ground zero in deBlasio’s drive to impose quotas on city schools,” New York Post, Aug. 20.)
I understand the benefits of a diverse student population. But I think we do a disservice to all students regardless of their race if they are admitted without the proper aptitude and achievement. How will they be able to keep up with their more able classmates? Teachers will be forced to adjust their instruction to the lowest level. Parents of more advanced students will complain, which will eventually result in their decision to pull them out and enroll them in private schools.
Boston is a liberal city, like New York City. Forced desegregation resulted in many parents leaving the district, which is presently just 12 percent white. Yet New York City refuses to learn from Boston’s experience. It’s only a matter of time before whatever quality in public schools is undermined.
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