Jeffrey Blehar writes for National Review Online about one prominent college town’s surprising response to poor student performance.

Evanston, Ill., is a town with many problems. Crime is way up in the leafy Chicago suburb, taxes are going up too, the city’s “slavery reparations” program disappointingly failed to cure African-American poverty, and worst of all it remains home to Northwestern University, forever the resentful and less prestigious rival to the glorious University of Chicago. It’s a tough burden for any small town to carry, and that’s all before I tell you how progressively Democratic they vote. …

… Perhaps a rigorous reform is in order, not only of the curriculum but of the teachers tasked with delivering that curriculum to the kids. Maybe they could try bold solutions like banning all cellphones at school, as the Washington Post editorial board advocated Saturday in a rare fit of good sense. At the very least, perhaps inflicting more “Colorism Privilege Walks” on the white public-school students would lower the overall curve through demoralization, even if it doesn’t improve anyone’s scores.

And of course, the Evanston School Board, having already once approved the last-named option, has decided instead to raise the stakes: According to the Wall Street Journal, the board members have thought it through carefully and — in the name of diversity, equity, and inclusion — are going to give segregation a shot again. Don’t worry, though — this time it’ll be good. These are not your old, nasty, Fifties “Jim Crow” segregated classes, mind you. No, these are refined, sensitively modern “Affinity Classes,” an idea first tried in the San Francisco Bay Area’s public schools (the true hallmark of a quality educational idea). They are purely voluntary and “designed to address the achievement gap by making students feel more comfortable in class.” As one administrator puts it, “A lot of times within our education system, black students are expected to conform to a white standard. . . . In our spaces, you don’t have to shed one ounce of yourself because everything about our space is rooted in blackness.”