Boston Public Schools Suspend Advanced Classes

From GBH News:

Citing Racial Inequities, Boston Public Schools Suspend New Advanced Learning Classes

A selective program for high-performing fourth, fifth and sixth graders in Boston has suspended enrollment due to the pandemic and concerns about equity in the program, GBH News has learned.

Superintendent Brenda Cassellius recommended the one-year hiatus for the program, known as Advanced Work Classes, saying the district would not proceed with the program for new students next year.

“There’s been a lot of inequities that have been brought to the light in the pandemic that we have to address,” Cassellius told GBH News. “There’s a lot of work we have to do in the district to be antiracist and have policies where all of our students have a fair shot at an equitable and excellent education.”

A district analysis of the program found that more than 70 percent of students enrolled in the program were white and Asian, even though nearly 80 percent of all Boston public school students are Hispanic and Black.

School Committee member Lorna Rivera said at a January meeting that she was disturbed by the findings, noting that nearly 60 percent of fourth graders in the program at the Ohrenberger school in West Roxbury are white even though most third graders enrolled at the school are Black and Hispanic.

“This is just not acceptable,” Rivera said at a recent school committee meeting. “I’ve never heard these statistics before, and I’m very very disturbed by them.”

The program was open to all students in the Boston Public Schools who took a test known as Terra Nova in the third grade and received a high score. Those students were placed in a lottery conducted by the central administration office, and lottery winners received letters inviting them to apply to the program. Last fall, 453 students received invitations, 143 students applied and 116 enrolled this year, officials said.

These are our future doctors, lawyers and scientists. Thanks to race-denialism, these professionals will be a notch or two lower in quality than they otherwise would have been. The result is inevitable: Our health, justice system and science will be stunted.

Unfortunately, nobody will be able to quantify this effect, and anybody attempting to do so will be stigmatized. Are there any studies on increased morbidity due to Affirmative Action doctors? Of course not; those lives don’t matter.

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