The Globe and Mail ran an article today reporting that Vancouver public schools have eliminated their math and science honors programs (apparently the English honors programs were already removed years ago). This latest round of cuts has been portrayed by the school district as a move towards furthering equity and inclusion within Vancouver’s public schools.
Parents are understandably upset.
But, don’t worry, says the school district, your child can still enroll in “mini-schools” in order to pursue excellence in a particular area of learning.
Sure, but there is a catch —
Ah yes, because nothing is more equitable and inclusive than an application process run behind closed doors by school administrators. In all seriousness though, which is more equitable — students regardless of socio-economic background gaining entrance to honors programs through achieving good marks or having to go through the dog and pony show of an application process contending for limited spots?
But any objections to these new changes are, of course, racist.
And as if we had any doubt that this was about lowering the bar rather than treating each person equitably, we see this single lined buried in the article:
This ideology is nakedly anti-excellence. It’s like crabs in a bucket pulling each other back down as they all try to escape. This is inclusion through dilution. Rather than celebrating each student’s identity, only recognized identities are to be celebrated, and the voices of any group not included in this list must be silenced. Their difference must be erased. Their needs must be denied. Their concerns are illegitimate, and must be grounded in bigotry.
We don’t need to claim that gifted children are among the most oppressed people groups in the world. That would be a ridiculous claim. But that doesn’t mean that gifted children are not oppressed in ways that are real and painful, nor does it mean that their specific needs are not needs at all. Society wins when we encourage our brightest young minds by getting them mentorship and special training. We all reap the rewards. But apparently we would rather trade the possibility of innovation for the comfort of enjoying slavery through universal mediocrity.