by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
As if the learning losses suffered due to Covid lockdowns over the last several years didn’t harm children enough, left-wing elites have another “solution” in search of a problem: eliminating honors classes.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the trend, highlighting controversies in several southern California districts over their moves to nix honors courses in high schools. It represents the latest example of how the left’s moves to enforce “equity” will result in lower standards and less learning for children of all skin colors and backgrounds.
The 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.
Pedro Frigola, a parent with two students enrolled at Culver City high school, hit the nail on the head when he explained why he opposed the district’s move: “I was born in Cuba, and it doesn’t sound good when people are trying to achieve equal outcomes for everyone.”
As someone who enrolled in every possible honors and Advanced Placement class offered in his high school, I can state that ending honors classes won’t help student achievement — it will only degrade students’ performance and discipline.