Diversity for thee, but not for me in rich liberal New York City middle school
On New York City's Upper West Side, rich, almost certainly liberal (the UWS gave 89% of its votes to Hillary Clinton in 2016) parents are freaking out over a diversity plan that would mean bringing in black and Hispanic students with lower test scores to their middle schools, where admissions are partially governed by test scores.
Leslie Brody of the Wall Street Journal reports:
A New York City proposal to diversify middle schools on Manhattan's Upper West Side, by setting aside seats for children with low test scores, is facing stiff resistance from parents worried their high-achieving children might lose access to the popular public schools.
The Department of Education has proposed one scenario in which most middle schools in District 3 would give priority, for up to 25% of their seats, to applicants who had fourth-grade scores below grade level on state tests of reading and math.
Some parents applaud the proposal as a way to help integrate a swath of a school system that is highly segregated by race and class. About 84% of District 3's fourth-graders with scores below proficiency in English language arts last year were black or Hispanic, according to city data.
But some parents argue their high-performing children shouldn't be edged out. At a heated public meeting Tuesday, filmed by NY1 at P.S. 199, many parents were upset.
Here is the video, from local all-news cable channel New York One (hat tip: Gateway Pundit):
The local educational establishment, including elected parent representatives, is all in on the plan for the usual reasons.
Henry Zymeck of the Computer School, which would be affected, said children benefit from learning alongside others with varying abilities, and teachers know how to differentiate instruction.
"If you have a large family, you don't keep your kids away from each other based on who has the highest test score," he said. "We feel the ability to look deep within other students and see their value is an important thing for us to instill in children."
But parents are concerned that their kids will not advance as far as they could in critical skills like math and science, and presumably thus be at a disadvantage in getting into elite colleges. An unspoken fear may be that student populations with a higher propensity to misbehave might affect their precious darlings during the critical years of adolescence.
These are the sort of people who generally support the progressive agenda, as long as it doesn't adversely affect them in critical ways. They might be willing to pay high taxes (it takes a lot of money to live in decent housing there) and give lip service to all sorts of anti-racism initiatives. But when their own kids' futures are believed to be at stake, they suddenly change their tune.
I lived in Boston through the Boston school bussing crisis, when a federal judge who lived in upper-crust Wellesley determined that poor white kids from South Boston should be bussed out of their neighborhood to ghetto schools, and black and Hispanic kids from Roxbury and other poor neighborhoods should be bussed in. Meanwhile, rich, white Wellesley was left untouched. The violence that resulted shocked the nation. Now these chickens are coming home to roost in gentry neighborhoods of New York City.