Robby Soave on achieving “equity”:
The Vancouver School Board in British Columbia, Canada, is eliminating honours courses as part of a push to foster inclusivity and equity in the classroom. The board had previously eliminated the high school honours English programme, and maths and science will now get the axe as well. “By phasing out these courses, all students will have access to an inclusive model of education, and all students will be able to participate in the curriculum fulsomely,” said the school board in a statement.
By denying access, they are granting access, obviously. How terribly inclusive.
This is a spectacularly frank declaration: Education officials don’t like that some higher-achieving students are sorted into environments where they are more likely to succeed than their less-gifted peers, and would prefer to keep everyone officially at the same level to the greatest extent possible. The plan closely mirrors California’s recent efforts to discourage students who are proficient at math from taking calculus any earlier than their classmates; Canadian educators seem no less excited than their U.S. counterparts about naively pursuing equality of outcome at all costs.
Inevitably, the objections of students and parents were dismissed by educators, including Jennifer Katz, a professor of education at the University of British Columbia, as “nonsense” and perpetuating “systemic racism.” And so, the needs and prospects of gifted children will be sacrificed in the name of progressive piety. A piety that just happens to look like something else.