Achieving Equity Through Mediocrity: Chicago Moves to Eliminate “High-Achieving” School Programs – Jonathan Turley 12/19/23


Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and the Chicago Board of Education are following the lead of other major cities and eliminating gifted school programs in the name of achieving greater racial and social “equity.” Eleven “high-achieving selective-enrollment schools” will be eliminated, according to Chicago Board of Education CEO Pedro Martinez, to reduce “stratification and inequity.” As we have previously discussed, major cities with failing public education programs are erasing performance gaps in their schools by decapitating the top performers rather than elevating the performance overall. Other schools have also eliminated or lowered proficiency standards to achieve higher passage rates.According to the Daily Mail, the Board will vote today on the Mayor’s plan with the support of the president. The Chicago Tribune blasted Johnson in an editorial for reneging on a campaign promise not to abolish the selective schools.President Jianan Shi has portrayed gifted programs as just adding stress by allowing some students to achieve higher levels of education. Shi declared “the goal is […] to change (the) current competition model so that students are not pitted against one another, schools are not pitted against one another.”Some of these targeted schools are among the nation’s top performers, including Walter Payton College Prep (ranked 10th), Northside College Prep (ranked 37th), and Jones College Prep (ranked 60th). However, these schools only highlight the failure of the system overall.One can imagine how thrilled countries like China must be as we decapitate our educational system to bring down both standards and schools to a low median.

As previously discussed, school boards and teacher unions have long treated parents as unwelcome interlopers in their children’s education.

That view was captured in the comment of Iowa school board member Rachel Wall, who said: “The purpose of a public ed is to not teach kids what the parents want. It is to teach them what society needs them to know. The client is not the parent, but the community.”

State Rep. Lee Snodgrass (D-Wis.) tweeted: “If parents want to ‘have a say’ in their child’s education, they should home school or pay for private school tuition out of their family budget.”…

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