The diversity chickens are coming home to roost and diversity is destroying quality at Philadelphia’s top school — Julia R. Masterman.
Using somewhat softer language, that is the conclusion of a group of Masterman parents who issued a 51-page report that begins this way:
“The Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School is being systematically dismantled. Long established academic pathways have been severed and the school has been split in two. The long history of rigor and enriched curriculum is fading. The identity of the school and its purpose and mission are in disarray, leaving a fractured community.”
Fractured is a nice way of saying broken.
The report continues:
“Over the last decade, Masterman has consistently been ranked among the highest performing schools in the country while also being one of the most diverse. Additionally, about 40% of its students are economically disadvantaged. Many come from immigrant families. Masterman has served its community by offering students from diverse backgrounds the opportunities they required to make meaningful progress in their advanced educational trajectories. Those hallmarks of a Masterman education are disappearing at the school.”
All this, and more, was reported in a Philadelphia Inquirer story that should not have been a surprise to anyone who understands cause and effect.
You allow in less qualified students and one of two things happen: 1- Standards are maintained and the unqualified (usually minority) students fail and get kicked out, and may suffer personal meltdowns; or, 2- Standards are lowered to accommodate the less talented or less energetic, damaging the school’s achievement levels.
Not to say I told you so, but I told you so in 2021 when the Philadelphia School District, for reasons of the dread DIE — diversity, inclusivity, equity — decided to eliminate testing for admission to Philadelphia’s elite schools. Testing was, like, unfair to underachievers.
Anyone resisting the numbskull idea of dumbing down to equity was, of course (say it all together) “racist,” because that’s the only argument the DIE crowd has.
The parents’ report says the school has been harmed by giving preference to certain “under represented” zip codes. The report couches it in a nice way, saying extra staff needed to help the
unqualified certain students was not available and that hurt the school.
Such staff would not be necessary if only qualified students were admitted.
The need for pushing diversity in Philadelphia schools is laughable. Students in the District are 48% Black, 22.9% Hispanic/Latino, 14.5% white, 9.6% Asian or Pacific Islander, 0.3% American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other.
If you are going to play by the Woke DIE numbers, we need more Hawaiians and Alaskans for diversity. Manipulating ethnic enrollment is racism, straight up. It is racism despite what some believe are good intentions. This is the end result of handing out trophies for participating, rather than achieving.
Granted, the racial composition at Masterman does not dovetail with the District’s number. At Masterman, 39% of the students are white, 33% are Asian or Pacific Islander, 13% are Black, 5% are Hispanic, and 10% claim two or more races. It is still majority nonwhite (as if being white is a problem, which it is to the Woke who equate “whiteness” with guilt.)
Without question, sometimes diversity is a good thing. If you are working on a big project, the more points of view, the better.
But if you are fielding a basketball team — well, how many white athletes suit up for the Sixers?
Merit counts in athletics and merit should count in academics. Getting to the top requires skill and dedication, not a favored zip code.
The District has succeeded in ruining an excellent school — and I’m sure the same is true in the other quality schools — and actually cheated superior students out of the quality education they deserve.
This was the predictable, if not desired result. It can be fixed if the blockheads who run the School District remove the DIE dunce caps from their heads, and revert to merit selection.