Submitted by John Arbeeny.
The CPSD “equity policy” has been developed by a “stakeholders” group consisting of nearly 80% of CPSD employees and then approved by the Board. On paper it is supposed to somehow increase academic performance that is near the bottom 1/3 (35%) of Washington State school districts.
The policy says a lot of nice things about what it wants to achieve but lacks specifics on how those things are to be achieved. So let’s take a look how “equity” in action is being achieved both within CPSD and in other locales as the basis for what to expect and how accomplishment is attempted. Unfortunately the natural tendency of equity programs is to dumb down academic achievement rather than elevate it. It’s so much easier to do it that way.
“Equity” has already had a major impact in CPSD and not a good one. President Schafer crows about how graduation rates have increased from 60% to 88% during his tenure. However he fails to mention that academic achievement has plummeted to below 50% and the District mired at near the bottom 1/3 of Districts statewide. These numbers are headed paradoxically in different directions. What it means is that a diploma from CPSD has been debased to the point where superior and inferior students are indistinguishable to a future employer or college recruiter. It’s a disincentive to succeed. Why try harder when you graduate with the same worthless piece of paper? Diplomas from academically successful districts will be accepted as superior regardless of the relative merits of individual students. That’s “equity” in action.
“Equity” also extends to CPSD administrators (principals). The President of the Clover Park Association of School Principals (CPASP) is Tim Stults who is Principal of Clover Park High School; arguably the worst academically performing school in the District! Ironically his school’s motto is “Failure is not even an option”. Yet the truth is that failure is a reality with dismal grade levels in English Language Arts (ELA) 54%, math 17% and science 18%, attendance 62% yet a graduation rate of 83%! How does that happen?
Yet Stults is head of the CPASP? It reminds me of the Clover Park Education Association (CPEA) Vice President, Filma Fontinella who throws “racist” accusations around with impunity against anyone she disagrees with. How does that happen? I’d have thought a principal of an academically successful school, like Harrison Prep would be in a leadership position. Apparently principals have decided to follow the worst instead of learning from the best. Stults is also “all in” on Critical Race Theory as evidenced by his radically progressive letter of support for Superintendent Banner’s “equity policy” (8/4/21). Did all the other principals sign on to this leftist manifesto? I hope not or the District is really in trouble. That’s “equity” in action.
The CPEA has expressed concern that the natural result of “equity”, specifically involving ELA, will of necessity result in the segregation of students which just coincidently winds up by race and ethnicity (May 2021 Update). The CPEA worried that this segregation wouldn’t look good to outside eyes! So apparently “optics” are more important than truth. Otherwise CPEA does not see any other way to deal with the problem except through a massive increase in educational spending. Why am I not surprised? That’s “equity” in action.
OSPI has gotten into the act recently by permitting districts to water down the number of credits required for graduation which some districts like CPSD have jumped on to clear out their senior classes regardless of whether prepared for life after graduation. This supposedly makes it “fair” for everyone to graduate as well as make districts look good with high graduation rates…….like CPSD. That’s “equity” in action.
“Equity” is in play all over the Country in school districts side stepping academic achievement in the name of “fairness”. A new Oregon law (Senate Bill 744) which suspends a requirement for a basic-skills test in math, reading and writing to graduate high school is being praised by advocates as a way to rethink education standards (equity) and sharply criticized by others as a misguided effort that will hurt children’s learning in the long run. In California, Minnesota and other states, grades below 50% or “F” will no longer be used. That’s “equity” in action
Just imagine the boost to GPAs when missed assignments or poor test scores are discounted. Alternative pass/fail grade systems also conceal the students’ underlying educational achievement. The school districts benefit from an apparent increase in competence (high graduation rates) even as student competence declines precipitously. Motivation, achievement and self esteem are destroyed when grades don’t matter and diplomas are handed out with no value behind them. Take such students and dump them after graduation into a real world where expectations are 180 degrees out from what they’ve experienced in high school and tell me then who the child abusers are! That’s not how adult life works. But that is “equity” in action.
Make no mistake about it. “Equity” sounds great with all the politically correct “woke” words, phrases and concepts but hidden within it are inequities that can only be categorized as immoral and unfair. The proof is not in what equity supporters say or even how it is implemented but rather the actual results achieved as we’ve seen to date. “Equity” is a significant component of Critical Race Theory and part of a Marxist based systemic approach to social engineering. It will fail for the same reason Marxist ideology has failed whenever and where ever attempted. It will fail by systemic design because it fails to understand the system’s key component: human nature. That’s “equity” in action.