Enforced Mediocrity

The Story

Amid all the bluster about changing the process of admissions to the city’s specialized high schools, an experiment in enforced mediocrity is playing out on the Upper West Side. The school district, in an effort to achieve an optimal racial mix in several middle schools, will reserve spots in a well-regarded school for the lowest-performing incoming students. While this decision appears to reflect the values of some members of the local community, we should be careful about assuming that this sort of social engineering is the best way to run a school system.  

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Margins: Efforts to integrate the schools racially citywide are hampered by the fact that white students make up only about 14% of the student body. Read more.

  2. Success: Academic success can be achieved regardless of a school’s demographic makeup, as some New York City charter schools have demonstrated. Read more.

  3. Bias: Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza told a local parent — who opposes the plan — to attend a training seminar on implicit racial bias, a social science construct that has no merit. Read more.

“The path to excellence does not run through mediocrity.”

Bob McManus, City Journal contributing editor

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Defining Diversity Down By William J. Stern (Autumn 1996)

“Both of the summer’s party conventions paid their respects to ‘diversity,’ our newest and most confused national principle.”

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