Better The Kids Be Ignorant Than Held Back

Better The Kids Be Ignorant Than Held Back: Do people think they’re actually helping kids when they do this sort of thing?

“Florida church leaders and community activists are threatening an economic boycott of key state industries unless officials reassess the weight of Florida’s high school standardized exam.

About 12,800 of Florida’s high school seniors, many of them either black or Hispanic, have yet to meet the requirements of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, meaning they potentially will not be allowed to graduate.

In response, a group of about two dozen pastors, lawmakers and community leaders said Sunday they will begin boycotting Florida’s sugar, citrus and tourism industries on May 22 unless Gov. Jeb Bush (search) amends the test standards.”

I’m sure that these “pastors, lawmakers and community leaders” (at least most of them) honestly think they’re actually helping these kids. They don’t want them to be stigmatized or discouraged by being held back so they’d rather turn a blind eye to these test results or worse yet, pretend that they’re not fair, biased, etc. You see this same sort of mentality when it comes to Affirmative Action in colleges. It’s, “sure they may not deserve to get into college X based on their performance, but why can’t we give them a little extra help?” This excerpt from my interview with Walter Williams explains what’s wrong with that sort of thinking…

“You find the same thing at MIT. Black students in the engineering department, they score in the top 5% nationally in the quantitative portion of the SAT. However, close to 50% are on academic probation or flunking out at MIT. What’s the problem? Well, the rest of the students in the engineering department are in the top 1%, which puts the black students at MIT near the bottom of the student body. So those black student who are being turned into failures at MIT, if they’d gone to engineering school at University of Pennsylvania or Cornell, they’d be on the Dean’s list.

So it’s kind of like you’re saying to me, “Walter, would you teach me how to box?” Then, the first fight I get you is with Lennox Lewis. Now you might have the potential to be a good boxer, but you’re going to get your brains beaten out before you learn to bob and weave. So, the question for black people is, “do we have so many youngsters who score in the top 5% nationally that we can afford to have them turned into failures at MIT in the name of diversity and multiculturalism?” For me, my answer is no.”

Replace MIT with “their first job” and you have in many ways the same issue with these high school students. A kid who might wash out of a job after the education system winked at his poor performance might very well excel in the same job if he had another year in high school to mature and improve his skills.

Whether people realize it or not, giving kids a pass on their mediocre performance is not something that people who care about what happens to them would do. To the contrary, the best thing we can do for these kids is to demand that they earn everything they get in school. To do otherwise is to set them up for failure when they move into the real dog eat dog world of American Capitalism.

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