NYC progressives de Blasio and Ocasio-Cortez want to punish Asian students for their academic success
In the wake of the college admissions scandal, where meritocracy was bypassed by the wealthy and connected, New York City leftists Bill de Blasio and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are demanding an end to the strict meritocracy governing admission to the crown jewels of public education, Bronx High School of Science and Stuyvesant High. Yesterday, the freshman congresswoman tweeted out her outrage at strict meritocracy:
68% of all NYC public school students are Black or Latino.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 19, 2019
To only have 7 Black students accepted into Stuyvesant (a *public* high school) tells us that this is a system failure.
Education inequity is a major factor in the racial wealth gap. This is what injustice looks like. https://t.co/89NKvXk4vg
Stuyvesant High School (photo credit: Jim Henderson).
Currently, admissions are governed by test performance, and Asian students outperform other races, including whites. David Marcus writes at The Federalist:
Her [Ocasio-Cortez's] math is correct, but what she fails to mention is that while Asian students make up only 15 percent of all students in New York, they are a whopping 74 percent of students at Stuyvesant, the school she references. She claims this is inequity and represents a racial wealth gap. But exactly what systems does she believe that New York City has in place that can explain the extraordinary achievements of Asian students? Are Asians getting better schools? More resources? In what way are Asians the beneficiaries of a racial wealth gap?
Don't expect answers any time soon. This is a question Democrats and their allies in the news media have no answer for, and can barely even bring themselves to mention. The pebble in their shoe is that despite obvious racism that exists and has always existed towards Asian Americans, they succeed anyway, by almost every metric.
The biggest problem with Ocasio-Cortez and de Blasio's position is not that it is unfair to high-achieving Asian students (it is), but that changing the admission process at elite high schools does absolutely nothing to solve the underlying problem. The real problem is that black and Latino kids are not currently achieving in ways we historically know they are capable of.
The reasons behind the comparative success of Asian students are not hard to discern to anyone with common sense: cultural values that stress academic achievement. But such an explanation invalidates many of the slogans of progressives, that seek to blame whites for everything bad that happens to economically and academically less successful blacks and other minorities. Suggesting that behavior has something to do with academic and economic outcomes is anathema to progressives, for it "blames the victim." However, without changes to values and behavior, the "racial gap" will never close.
With the verdict in the lawsuit by Asian students challenging Harvard's admission practices pending, and the revelations of the college admissions scandal roiling the power elite's claim to legitimacy, maybe we will finally get that honest "conversation on race" that progs have been saying we need for the last generation.
Punishing a hardworking (and fast growing) minority for playing by the rules and excelling is another plank in a political platform that Democrats are building for 2020 that ought to spark derision and failure at the polls. If it does not, we are sunk as a nation of strivers and achievers.