SATURDAY, MAY 31, 2014
In a nutshell, here’s why: Next week, “Our month of the gaps” will continue. Here’s why:
In the course of creating her 10,000-word report for The Atlantic, Nikole Hannah-Jones stumbled upon a deeply unfortunate world.
She describes a public high school—Tuscaloosa’s Central High—where even the brightest seniors can’t seem to qualify for college. Her reaction?
Students at this all-black school need to attend school with more white kids! Hannah-Jones is principally concerned with their “segregation.”
On balance, we’d like to see superlative kids like D’Leisha Dent in mixed-race school settings too. But that is not the primary problem that fine young person is facing.
The Central High of Hannah-Jones’ description is a remarkable place—a place where even the brightest seniors can’t qualify for college. There’s little reason to suppose that the situation would be massively different if those same kids had gone to school with a handful of white kids—and that’s the best Tuscaloosa could have done, given its demographics.
We think Hannah-Jones’ focus is heinous, uncaring, cruel. We think the same of Professor Perry’s ridiculous presentation about the Brown decision, in which she gasped at the fact that black kids are “disproportionately” represented in gifted and talented programs.
Earth to this heinous Princeton professor, who attended nothing but private schools:
By any normal academic standard, superlative kids like D'Leisha Dent don’t qualify for gifted programs! To judge from Hannah-Jones’ sketchy report, Dent is in an AP English class for one reason only—because the other kids at Central High perform even more poorly than she does.
D’Leisha Dent seems to a truly superb young person. Why isn’t she doing better in school? Why doesn’t she qualify for the four-year colleges she very much wants to attend?
Our journalists and academics spill over with throwback explanations and frameworks. In these presentations, an older generation refuses to abandon its generational themes and see to the needs of the young.
Starting on Monday, we’ll examine the size of the achievement gaps which define our public schools and our student population.
We won’t restrict ourselves to the gap between “the rich and the poor,” as Eduardo Porter ever-so-safely did in the New York Times last week. We’ll also look at the very large gaps which obtain between our white kids and our black kids.
We’ll marvel at the very large size of those appalling gaps.
Those gaps reflect our brutal history, a history no living person created. That said, we can’t address those daunting gaps by pretending that they don’t exist—by feigning surprise at the disproportionate representation of black kids in “gifted” programs.
Professor Perry should be ashamed of the very bad work she has done. In our view, she and the rest of her crappy elite don’t seem to care about Dent very much.
Same as it ever was! Overpaid, worthless elites of all “races” are walking away from our truly superlative black kids.
In the next month, we’ll discuss the size and genesis of the gaps our swells prefer to avoid. Life at Princeton can be sweet. But that doesn’t do a whole lot for Dent, a truly superlative kid.