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Tags: new york city | gifted | talented | schools

NYC Crushing the Desire for Student Success

NYC Crushing the Desire for Student Success
Democratic presidential candidate New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers campaign speech at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair on August 11, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Michael Dorstewitz By Friday, 06 September 2019 02:15 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

A newly-proposed plan to drop an existing New York City program is a case of life imitating art — and not in a good way. City fathers propose to eliminate school programs for gifted students out of a concern for diversity and inclusion.

Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed a School Diversity Advisory Group to come up with proposals to promote diversity and develop “pro-integrative programs” that “affirmatively attract students of all backgrounds and make sure that all students are challenged.”

The group proposed placing programs created expressly for gifted and talented students on the chopping block.

“The existing use of screens and Gifted and Talented programs is unfair, unjust and not necessarily research-based,” de Blasio’s “School Diversity Advisory Group” claimed. “These programs segregate students by race, class, abilities and language and perpetuate stereotypes about student potential and achievement.”

A few years back in the HBO series “The Newsroom,” “News Night” anchor Will McAvoy, portrayed by Jeff Daniels, explained to a college coed in a riveting scene why America is no longer the greatest nation in the world.

“We’re 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, No. 4 in labor force, and No. 4 in exports.”

As of 2015, United States' 15-year-olds taking standardized tests ranked 24th in reading (literacy), 39th in math, and 24th in science.

In that same HBO “Newsroom” scene, McAvoy laments that America “sure used to be [the world’s greatest nation].” He explained that in the past “we aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it, it didn’t make us feel inferior.”

Yet Mayor de Blasio’s task force is suggesting exactly that — that talent and intelligence should be stifled because it makes one’s peers “feel inferior.”

McAvoy added, “we were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed, by great men — men who were revered.”

One of those “great men ... who were revered” in the Democratic Party was the late President John F. Kennedy, who gave Congress and NASA two challenges: to send a man to the moon and bring him safely back to Earth, “not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.”

Kennedy said nothing about diversity, quotas, or inclusion.

But who does the Democratic Party have today to look up to? What great leaders does the Democratic Party have? One has only to turn to its 2020 presidential lineup.

They have Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who claims that African Americans can’t get ahead unless we hand them reparations for something they never experienced, to be paid by others who were never a party to that experience — personal responsibility be damned.

They also have Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who claims that Americans are too weak-willed and lacking in moral fiber to pay off their own medical debts. He wants other taxpayers to pay them off instead, at the expense of all notions of personal responsibility.

The Party also has Sen. Kamala Harris of California, along with others who claim that America’s youth will never achieve anything in life unless working Americans pay for their college education and pay off the student loan debt incurred by those who already completed college — again, at the expense of personal responsibility.

And the topper of them all is Mayor de Blasio’s call to end academic programs for gifted and talented students out of a fear that there won’t be a sufficient number of minority students in the mix — at the expense of individual initiative.

By embarking on this madness he assures there will never be any gifted students at all, whatever their background or ethnicity. All New York City students will hereinafter be equally ill-motivated and equally ill-informed.

And the net result will be that each New York City high schooler will leave the classroom equally mediocre.

More than that, the city will deny students the sense of accomplishment they would otherwise have experienced through the act of excelling, and in that manner he’ll rob them of even the desire to excel.

And those dismal numbers of U.S. academic achievement will only continue to plummet, until the day comes when we compete for next-to-last place with some third world country. When that day arrives, chants of “We’re Number One!” will be replaced with excited cries of “We dodged the bullet! We’re not last!”

Just like that fictional newsman, Will McAvoy, that’s not the America I grew up in. But it sure as hell appears to be the America de Blasio and his fellow modern-day Democrats are fine with.

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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A newly-proposed plan to drop an existing New York City program is a case of life imitating art — and not in a good way.
new york city, gifted, talented, schools
Friday, 06 September 2019 02:15 PM
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