By John Ubaldi, “Ubaldi Reports”
As America wrestles with various national security threats coming from Russia, but especially China, the U.S. needs to seriously focus on one of the most serious threats to the nation’s security and if not addressed will set the country back generations; this is the sharp decline in American public education.
This decline in public education just didn’t happen overnight but has been years in the making, but the Covid school lockdowns exacerbated an already disastrous educational achievement, but it’s been especially harmful to black and Hispanic children.
In the falloff 2022 the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released the first post-Covid testing results which showed a catastrophic regression in learning loss with the sharpest reduction in math and reading for the nation’s children in thirty years.
Various studies not only from the NAEP but others such as Johns Hopkins University showed that the economic lockdowns of the nation’s schools had no measureable impact on the coronavirus but showed a detrimental impact on learning loss for children.
If this learning loss is not reversed it could lead to a loss of earnings for those who had been locked out of public schools with estimates upward of $900 billion of lost earning potential, but the worst impact will be on low performing and black and Hispanic students.
Instead of addressing this deficiency, many have advocated and have eliminated core standards such as honors classes and SAT/ACT testing used for admission to state college and universities. Much of this was under and continues to be under the guise of equity in education.
Columbia University just recently dropped SAT & ACT standardized testing for undergraduate admissions because of inequity in college admissions.
The state of Oregon, under the mantel of addressing equity, the state eliminated the mandate of addressing the low number of black and Hispanic who are passing high school exit exams, and decide to end this requirement to reverse this trend.
Instead of increasing educational standards, various states and school districts across the country are reducing educational requirements and standards as their way to address these glaring educational deficiencies for black and Hispanic students.
This trend has spread as several southern California school districts are moving in the direction of eliminating honor courses in high schools.
The Wall Street Journal interviewed the superintendent of the Culver City Unified School District outside Los Angeles. The superintendent, Quoc Tran, defined the issue of honors classes thusly: “Parents say academic excellence should not be experimented with for the sake of social justice. … [But] it was very jarring when teachers looked at their AP enrollment and realized black and brown kids were not there. They felt obligated to do something.”
And when teachers “felt obligated to do something,” what did that “something” entail? Not giving the additional motivation and encouragement that African American and Hispanic students might need to take more challenging classes. Not providing nonwhite students with any extra tutoring or help they might need to succeed in those challenging classes. No, “doing something,” in this case, meant nixing honors courses entirely.
Instead of addressing the core problem of why black and Hispanic students are not reaching the benchmarks of succeeding in educational areas for either AP courses or on SAT or ACT college admissions examinations the rational is to either drop the course entirely or eliminate the examination.
Why not ask the question why are blacks and Hispanic students not enrolling in AP courses or passing college standardized testing examination?
It’s interesting to note that if black or Hispanic students by the time they reach the age of twelve shows any athletic ability in soccer, baseball, basketball, or football there is an entire cottage industry that pushes mentorship, enrolls them in competitive sports programs and promulgates all sorts of ways for them to achieve athletic prowess, but nothing for academics.
Why is the same focus on black and Hispanic prowess for athletics not transferable to academics? This considering across the country over 70% of black and Hispanic students are deficient at grade level in math and English despite residing in school districts where per pupil spending is among the highest in the country.
Instead of focusing on how to improve educational achievement, those advocating for students such as teachers unions, politicians and educational bureaucrats across the country did everything in their power to keep schools locked down and pushed equity over higher educational standards. Those they claim to help face the greatest amount of educational regression which will impact their life forever.
The ironic aspect is that the same political and educational establishment who push public schools for all of the nation’s students, but then conveniently opt their children out and send them to private schools; why? Why no push back regarding this?
If America doesn’t reverse the decline in educational achievement in our public schools and the nation dose nothing to reverse the dismal achievement gap for black and Hispanic students America will fall behind our international competitors, such as China, we will be placing our national security at risk.
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