Virginia’s Education Department feels there aren’t enough minority students in advanced math classes. To this end, the state is dumping these classes altogether and replacing them with a course that even a Democrat state senator has voiced concerns about. What’s more, the state is also ditching several advanced diplomas because, once again, Caucasian students are more likely to earn one of these diplomas than Hispanic or African-American students.
Democrat Virginia State Senator J. Chapman Petersen, who was educated in Virginia and took advanced level math from seventh grade onwards, expressed concern about the “dilution of learning” that the new program would bring about, and has asked the state’s Secretary of Education to provide a plain explanation of the new program.
On the other hand, parents of children still in the Virginia school system were far more outspoken in their opposition. Some pointed out that stripping Virginia students of their ability to access advanced classes will make it difficult for these students to gain acceptance to good colleges, as many elite colleges specifically look for students who have taken advanced math and/or science classes.
Furthermore, the change could destroy the hard-earned reputation of local high schools.
At the same time, Virginia’s Department of Education is looking into using graduation requirements as “a lever for equity” by consolidating the standard and advanced studies diploma. Progressive bureaucrats aren’t pleased that the overwhelming majority of advanced diploma earners in 2019 were white. However, it seems they have failed to take into account that 44% of Hispanic students and 40% of African-American students earned advanced diplomas.
The move to restrict higher learning and lower educational standards would not just hurt white students but also students of color who may not be able to make up the difference by spending extra money on tutors. Indeed, students throughout the state would feel the pain long-term.
“Equity” has become the new buzzword for progressive activists in academia and our political class. It sounds a lot like “equality,” but there’s a very substantial difference between the two concepts. While equality refers to providing the same opportunities for everyone, equity means mandating the same outcomes — regardless of performance. It’s a dangerous concept that continues to gain ground in academic circles.
If any progressives are reading this (which is unlikely), ask yourselves this: how does this actually help anyone? Is mandating equity making groups you claim to care about more independent, or less? You don’t need an advanced class to answer these questions…