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Adopting CRT in U.S. schools tears apart civil society

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Virginia parents, outraged at CRT-driven changes to admission standards that are designed to reduce Asian enrollment from 70% down to 50%, are in a battle with the Fairfax School Board. (Photo: Asra Nomani) 

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This is the third and last (I hope) discussion concerning Bill 67, Racial Equity in the Education System Act, 2022, Ontario. This time, let’s have a look at a number of current situations involving the concept of equity and critical race theory in order to gain some perspective about the potential ramifications of Bill 67.

Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology, Fairfax, Virginia, is generally ranked as the number one public high school in America. Various groups of parents and politicians are currently engaged in a bitter legal battle with the Fairfax School Board about the school’s admission policy, which, to summarize, the Board changed from an equality basis to that of equity.

Since its beginnings in 1989, the school has used an admissions test to select applicants. Best scores gain acceptance. Apparently, Asian students have too high a success rate, winning approximately 70% of the school’s spots. White students lag behind with 22%, while Black and Hispanics gain the remaining spots. (Various news articles didn’t include actual population distribution, so there’s no context for those figures.)

Wanting to create a more equitable admissions procedure, and hence a more equitable student demographic, the Board changed to a complicated system based on a number of factors including high grades, a challenging course load, writing an essay and so on, all of which can certainly be valid determiners for an admission policy, as long as the system views the results “blindly,” a big if in today’s politically charged climate.

Other admission factors, however, include socioeconomic status, first language spoken at home and whether the student has a disability. I have no idea as to the significance of these last three factors in an admissions policy to Jefferson High School, but they seem to be agenda driven. 

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As a result of the changes, the 2020/21 intake was apparently the most diverse grade nine intake in the school’s history, but with Asian student admissions reduced from 70% to 50% to achieve it. Many Virginian citizens and politicians have complained that the new policy aimed at achieving equity is in fact racist itself, with Asian kids being sacrificed. The case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Other schools around the country have experienced the same situation, including the special high schools in New York City, where a similar attempt to diversify on the basis of equity was ultimately defeated. However, the original three special high schools are now up to eight, which certainly increases the educational opportunity of New York’s students to gain admission to a special school.

A similar situation involving Asian students applying to Harvard University also fought its way through the courts. The newer admissions policy, dating back to 2014, similarly saw a drop in Asian students and an increase in Whites and minorities. That too was challenged, but the new system was upheld by The U.S. First District Court of Appeals.

Changing admission policies, according to the court’s decision, is not necessarily racist. Perhaps not, but a lot of Asian students who once qualified to attend Harvard no longer do. This issue is also headed for the U.S. Supreme Court, likely later in 2022.

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In Canada, the tentacles of diversity and equity struck down the grant application of Professor Patanjali Kambhampati of McGill University’s chemistry department. A grant of $450,000 would have allowed him to continue his cutting edge- research into high-speed lasers, according to various news reports, useful in everything from medicine to telecommunications, which could help Canada become a world leader in this field. Actually, that was his second rejected grant application by two different federal organizations.

According to the professor, his application stated that he would hire assistants on the basis of merit, and therefore, “the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion considerations in the application were deemed insufficient.”

Merit, and the future success and well-being of Canada clearly were sacrificed on the federal government’s altar of diversity, equity and inclusion.

But, in all of these situations, at least to my understanding, no educational system has legislated the complex, Orwellian machinery of Ontario’s Bill 67, whereby teachers will be indoctrinated into critical race theory and must constantly prove their “competency” with regards to racial equity, along with boards of education, colleges and universities in ways not yet defined, administered by positions not yet created, filled with personnel not yet hired.

Whereas all of the above examples concern admissions. Ontario’s Bill 67 concerns the entire system. This gets Ontario into ‘uncharted waters.’

What might happen, for example, if a teacher, or a school, or a board, or a university had a higher than desirable dropout rate, or a lower-than-expected graduation rate, of one of the groups of “racialized minorities”? Would that put pressure on the teacher or school or the board to correct the imbalance or to be found guilty of equity incompetence? How would such a situation be dealt with by the Ministry and the unelected officials appointed to oversee the system?

No one discusses that.

This scenario is not without some historical perspective. 

Does Ontario’s Bill 67 with its fundamental concepts that education and society are inherently and systemically racist concern you? The concerns of single parent Asra Nomani led her to being a leading voice in fighting CRT curriculum and anti-Asian admissions policies in Fairfax Country, Virginia, which has landed in the US Supreme Court. (Screencap: @AsraNomani)

When Ontario began testing its students for reading and mathematics skills in grades three, six and nine, and introduced the grade ten literacy test which all students must pass in order to graduate, newspapers printed lists of every school and every board of education, ranking them in order of performance. Schools and boards with poor scores were public-shamed and the pressure was on staff and administration to increase performance.

No one stopped to consider various socioeconomic factors, nor did they go beyond raw data to investigate ways in which these schools might have excelled in looking after the emotional and other needs of their children.

The Ministry had promised that these tests were only for educators to help develop better educational outcomes, but they turned out to be punitive. And that was with no hot button racial or otherwise equity agenda.

To ensure that their students passed the grade ten literacy test, some high schools dedicated part of a given subject’s time to prepare students for it. Students who didn’t perform well were also provided with tutoring after school, not for their general education, but specifically to pass the test so as to qualify for graduation in grade twelve.

Who knows what will happen when that kind of mindset applies itself to racial inequities and has complete control of the educational system?

From education admissions to university grants and even to medical and cancer research, diversity, equity and inclusion is promoted and defended, not necessarily for best practices, which would be fine, but what is termed social justice. Much research by academics is dedicated to proving that keeping an Asian kid scoring in the 99th percentile out of Harvard is actually helping to create a stronger society.

But back to Ontario: a sitting MPP explained that the “writ,” will soon be dropped in order to call this June’s provincial election; all legislation will then be cleared, so it is unlikely that there will be time for Bill 67 to receive and pass a third reading.

After the election, when the new government begins sitting, it will do so with a fresh start. There’s nothing to stop the same members, or others, to introduce a similar bill, however, and it seems foolish to think that it won’t come to pass eventually, perhaps sooner than later.

If Bill 67 and its critical race theory, with its fundamental concept that education and society are inherently and systemically racist, worries you, as well as an unelected, top-down, appointed oligarchy directing Ontario education, then this election might just buy you some time to become informed and make your voice count before the Son of Bill 67 is introduced.

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Anthony Dayton is former Ontario public schools and Seneca College educator, who developed several writing and English courses for TVO. He has been a features writer for ten years at The Mainstreet Unionville News, a blogger for a major syndicated news service and for a private media Company, and is a product and event photographer.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

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