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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Exodus: Achievers' families are leaving

As many New York City middle schools end selective admissions, middle- and upper-middle-class parents are considering private schools or a move to the suburbs, writes Vince Bielski on RealClear Ed.


Lotteries will mix high, average and low achievers from different backgrounds in the same classroom. Many parents with "say they don't want to roll the dice on their kids’ education," he writes. "If a large number of families do exit the city’s public schools in 2023, it would mean another financial blow to a system that has already lost more than 100,000 students since the beginning of the pandemic."


About 72 percent of students are Asian American at New York City's elite Stuyvesant High School.

Changing admissions rules at selective schools or dropping admissions requirement is a national trend. But there's plenty of push back from achievers' parents.


In progressive San Francisco, the school board's decision to admit students by lottery to what had been the city's selective high school angered Chinese-Americans. Three board members were recalled in a landslide; the new board reversed the decision.


In every district with selective schools, Asian-American students are far more likely to qualify for admissions with whites second and blacks and Hispanics far behind.


In mixed-ability classes, teachers must cope with a huge range of skill levels, says Jonathan Plucker, a professor of education at Johns Hopkins University. “The idea that everyone benefits in a mixed-ability classroom is an ideological statement that flies in the face of all the evidence we have, which is very mixed,” Plucker says. “And not just for advanced students. It’s not clear that struggling students benefit either.”

A mother in affluent District 2 told Bielski her son’s experience during the pandemic at the unscreened Robert Wagner middle school “a disaster.”

In English class on most days, she said, 25 students spent much of the period reading a variety of unchallenging fantasy and sports books. So there was little opportunity for a dynamic class discussion around a compelling literary topic. Instead, the teacher walked around the classroom and briefly talked individually to students. They avoided tackling difficult authors from Toni Morrison to William Shakespeare whose works require more elucidation and class discussion.

The family plans to move to Connecticut.


Virginia's attorney general is investigating the decision to withhold notice of academic honors from students, most of them Asian American, at 17 high schools. Students weren't told they'd won National Merit commendations in time to include the honor in college applications.


"It is a perverse deeply un-American mind-set that penalizes merit — in any field of endeavor, whether academics or the arts, sports or languages," writes Hugh Hewitt in the Washington Post.


Fairfax County schools paid nearly half-a-million dollars for an equity plan included “equal outcomes for every student, without exception” as a goal, writes Hewitt. "Because the schools could not accomplish an impossible goal, they must have decided the next best thing was to hide all evidence of outcomes."

11 comentários


Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith
27 de jan. de 2023

A policy for when to shift from comprehensive to selective admissions requires judgement, which should benefit from a jury (see Condorcet's theorem, and the like) if its members bring a diversity of expertise to the table from a broad variety of backgrounds: the experience of educationally leading schools, districts, cities, regions, and states around the world suggests that after ten years (K-9), selection for different paths through upper secondary education is advisable, while before that teachers should learn to differentiate their class unit teaching, for example by differentiating texts to be read and amounts of support to be provided, as necessary.

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lady_lessa
27 de jan. de 2023

I wonder how long the teachers will tolerate this as well. I'm reasonably sure that the adults who prefer the higher level students won't want to stick around either.


I was a volunteer religion teacher for a number of years, and my last time I had 8 students (4th grade) and the ability range was barely reading to 5 th grade or higher. The girls were in the middle. I quit shortly after the school year started because I was about to be called upon the carpet due to letting one of the boys keep his hat on in class.

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Steve Sherman
Steve Sherman
29 de jan. de 2023
Respondendo a

I wonder how long the teachers will tolerate this as well.


As long as the direct deposit is made the insurance card still works

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Convidado:
26 de jan. de 2023

Considering that fewer universities are asking applicants to take the SAT test. How can being a commended student help with admission? And the school that started the issue, TJHSST in Fairfax, VA, the University of Virginia is the safety school for students at that high school and being a commended student would not help at all in getting admitted. SD

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Convidado:
29 de jan. de 2023
Respondendo a

There is no way that classes like Physics, mathematics, or chemistry were harder in the 1930's. In addition, engineers did not have to know as much as topics like electrical engineering were an entirely different topics. Look it up. And the gentlemen's C has a huge thing then.

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Convidado:
26 de jan. de 2023

And all the rich liberal parents go along with this, because they know they can put their child in a private school, or get them tutoring, etc. It's the poor smart kids who will suffer. Of course many of these prejudiced people don't think poor people can be smart, so they don't sweat it. And the Anti-Asian bigotry is mind blowing. Do these people not realize that Asians have been subject to significant de jure discrimination in this country? I'd really like someone to ask George Takei what he thinks about this stuff. He's a big lib, and he was in the internment camps as a boy. Wonder what he thinks about the Fairfax public schools and others w…

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Convidado:
27 de jan. de 2023
Respondendo a

The interested poor do not suffer, they simply move back to a Title 1 school and ignore the derision of their peers while they get the necessary academics and e.c.s and move on. The middle class get massive study hall...they get to watch while remediation goes on, the college prep classes were dropped when nclb came in, they can't afford online coursework or private school or DE...so a parent must homeschool or they must plan on six years of college . Of course they qualify for no aid, since both parents working means they make just over the $$ amount necessary for aid.

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