While Democrats are quick on the trigger with fallacious rhetorical partisan charges of racism against critics of President Obama, their silence is deafening when it comes to actually racist government policies. Previously, I mentioned the Obama Administration filing a petition in favor of racial discrimination related to the upcoming Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas. Now, the Democratic Obama Administration and the Republican McDonnell Administration in Virginia have agreed that 78% of white students and only 57% of the state’s black students will be proficient at math in 2017. The issue is not so much whether the concrete number is 57 versus 60 versus 78, but the principle that race should be the basis for measuring school performance.
OK, so what does it mean that there are different racial targets measuring our public schools’ failure to teach our children? Remember their measures are intended to be federal incentives to local schools. If the black student cohort is on target with their substandard proficiency, should individual black students be denied individual remediation in favor of refocusing funding to another racial cohort that is performing better in absolute terms but below its particular higher racial target?
To be clear, instead of targeting individual students for improvement based upon their own personal development, this is a policy of allocating government spending between racial groups based upon a plan to tolerate higher failure rates for black and Hispanic students. If your kid goes to public school, they are not treated as an individual, but a data point valued or devalued by government schools based upon your child’s race. Is that really what your child, any child, deserves in their education?
While this policy sounds insane and anti-American, race policy is the primary cause for federal involvement in education; if you want to end racist government policies in education, then it is necessary to eliminate federal funding for local education. In the past, Democrat policies of compelling racial segregation in public schools led to an absolute need for the federal government to intervene to protect the individual rights of those individuals denied equal protection of the law based upon government enforced racial discrimination. However, after 60 years, we no longer require the current level of federal intervention in education to overturn segregation and redress prior racial discrimination, but our failure to update corrective policies after success has resulted in the federal government using federal spending to promote racist policies, such as Virginia’s racial targets for student proficiency.
Are such policies racist? In the context of these race based educational proficiency targets, consider what Ayn Rand wrote about racism, via Lexicon:
Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry…Racism claims that the content of a man’s mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man’s convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical factors beyond his control…Like every form of determinism, racism invalidates the specific attribute which distinguishes man from all other living species: his rational faculty. Racism negates two aspects of man’s life: reason and choice, or mind and morality, replacing them with chemical predestination. [“Racism”, The Virtue of Selfishness, p. 126].
The current government presumption that educational achievement should be measured in racial cohorts presumes that race is relevant in cognitive ability; otherwise, why are blacks and Hispanics held to a lower standard? Hardly consistent with President George W. Bush’s promise to defeat the soft bigotry of low expectations.
While there is not currently widespread official government enforced racial segregation in education for the federal government to correct, there are likely other relevant federal issues not related to race that influence student performance.
- Does the federal government have a role is prosecuting the widespread and persistent financial and political corruption in public schools, see documentary “The Cartel”?
- How does the federal emphasis on funding for special education create incentives for schools to cripple students intellectually?
- How does the failure to create a viable framework for legal immigration impact student performance?
- How does the federal culture of non-productive welfare impact student performance?
- How do federal drug prohibition and the criminal treatment of drug using parents impact student performance?
- How does the joblessness created by federal regulation of labor, industry, and finance impact student performance?
- How do mandatory federal education regulations and reporting requirements push funding out of the classroom and into administrative expenses?