“Is it OK that black eighth graders aren’t proficient in math and reading?”
Raleigh, N.C. — The Wall Street Journal published a column this morning by William McGurn about the consistent failure of urban school districts to properly educate black students, despite ever more funding.
It’s worth your time. Below are excerpts:
For if ever there were a structure systemically keeping African-Americans from getting ahead, it would surely be America’s big city public-school systems. By any objective measure, these schools consistently fail to provide their African-American students with the basic education they will need to get ahead. But instead of addressing achievement head on, the progressive answer is to funnel yet more money into the existing failed structure, eliminate tests that expose its failure, and impose race-based preferences to make up for it.
. . .
The best school districts can do is fewer than a quarter of black eighth graders proficient in math and reading.
Certainly it’s not for lack of money. Here’s how a Census report released earlier this year puts it:
“Of the 100 largest public school systems (based on enrollment), the six that spent the most per pupil in FY 2019 were the New York City School District in New York ($28,004), Boston City Schools in Massachusetts ($25,653), Washington Schools in the District of Columbia ($22,406), San Francisco Unified in California ($17,228), Atlanta School District in Georgia ($17,112), and Seattle Public Schools in Washington ($16,543).”
. . .
In the past, progressives tried to lift black achievement. Today, they have given up.
Embarrassed by the way our big city public school systems are failing black children, progressives answer not by making it easier for these kids to get into schools where black children are achieving, whether this be charter or parochial schools. Instead, they focus on getting rid of the embarrassment by getting rid of the achievement tests that expose it, doubling down on race preferences and trying to hamstring the schools that show black children can and do learn in the right environment.