To the Editor:
I understood the promise of Broad + Liberty to be a platform to advance practical conservative thinking in a tone that could be heard, even in a progressive city and region. But, by playing to base dog-whistle rhetoric in your discussion of Bensalem Township’s hiring of a consultant to look critically at the school district’s handling of race, you have failed to deliver on that promise.
The facts are that Bensalem is a school district in which half the kids are students of color. The school board does not reflect the student population and students of color are performing 23 percent below their white peers. Like its sister districts in the region and across the country, curriculum and pedagogy were never designed to serve a diverse student population. The district — like every single school district in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties — has a very real race problem.
Though thoughtful people can disagree about the causes and remedies, it was your approach — preying on white insecurities and perpetuating untruths about critical race theory — that amounts to race-baiting. Demagoguery is an effective political tool, but I hoped for more from Broad + Liberty.
7 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor: Bucks County School District ‘equity review’ was called for”
Well said! And credit where credit is due – good on b&l for publishing this. Shows some actual integrity.
A truly equitable approach would be to enable each student and their parents to spend the $16,577 per student attending the school of their choice instead of a one size fits all solution managed by a board which does not reflect the student population. Whether public, private, religious, or charter, smaller schools focused and funded solely on their students specific educational needs as determined by the parents of the student seems far better than the one in place. The Board’s time could then be spent writing grant proposals for state funding to address any academic inequities identified instead of kicking the ball down the road with studies focused on topics related to but tangential to actual learning.
I agree with Charles Case. School Boards nationwide have proven to be ineffective in dealing with racial inequality, if it exists in their district.
The unspoken assumption here in these comments, and the letter, is that racial inequality is an artificial, socially-created problem that educators need to solve.
Allow me to suggest that the scholastic under-performance of blacks and non-white Hispanics ( that’s what we’re really talking about here…everybody knows we aren’t talking about Jews or Koreans when we say “racial disparity” ) might NOT be caused by white prejudice or teacher insensitivity?
Let me ask you this: If you could wave your magic wand and instantly purify white people of all their secret thought-crimes….would black and Puerto Rican SAT scores rise to equal those for Koreans? You know they wouldn’t. The first step to an honest discussion of educational policy in this state is to stop being distracted by racial disparity. Let’s make good policies for everybody and let the group-performance chips fall as they may. We spend far too much time in this country talking about race, and it is driving us toward and explicitly race-conscious politics such as exists now in South Africa or Yugoslavia. It needs to stop.
The main problem in education is not along racial lines but more of a cultural issue. There are many minority students attending some of the more prestigious academic high schools such as Masterman, Central and Franklin Towne Charter. These students have also attended the same inner city grammar schools where a large majority of students fail to achieve the state standards on education. Why is that? It’s easy to blame individual schools, teachers or the district as a whole but what it boils down to is the family and neighborhood culture. While there are many minority parents who value their children’s education and go above and beyond to ensure their kids get into a better school there is a larger majority of families that just don’t put forth the same effort. You’d be hard pressed to find a minority student whose parents care and value their child’s education that is struggling to meet minimum standards. Education starts in the home and it does take a village to raise a child. When parents and fellow villagers don’t really care where do you expect the children to wind up?
Sad to see a man with an Asian surname speaking in the platitudes of the black left: “students of color.” He knows full well that East Asian students and families neither requested nor benefit from these racial indoctrination programs, nor are statistical disparities amongst races of much concern to them, as a group (if anything, they tend to come out on top in such comparisons). These “equity” programs are are all about black students and their inability/refusal to follow the behavioral and disciplinary norms that make orderly classroom learning possible. Since large numbers of black students cannot/will not conform, progressives have instead decided that white culture needs to change, hence the push for racial sensitivity training in the public schools and elsewhere in society.
I would furthermore ask Mr. Wang what untruths he thinks are being perpetuated about critical race theory. It seems to me white parents understand the theory very well. It is a body of ideas that teaches students to critique the majority white composition of the American population (or representations of same in art, media, etc) as a “problem” to be corrected rather than a wholly normal and acceptable state of affairs in a white country. It teaches that the norms, expectations, values that historically (and still) form the majority outlook in successful Western societies are in fact a “power structure” of oppression hold back other races and need to be broken, and that whites must deliberately defer and give place to dark-skinned people in order to create a new society. In a word, the training is Anti-White. What have I typed here that is untrue?