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It’s called “de-leveling.”  You may have seen recent national news stories about a Rhode Island school and a San Diego school proposing to cancel AP (advanced placement) and honors courses to achieve “equity and inclusion.”  This galvanized parents to protest.  And more ambitious “social justice” superintendents are out there who want to go further and get rid of grades and standardized tests altogether.  Is your school doing this? 


The ideal, according to this social justice pedagogy, is a “heterogeneous” classroom where all students learn together in one classroom.  Instead of putting more effort into raising up disadvantaged students, some superintendents see a shortcut: simply eliminate traditional “homogenous” learning where students sharing a particular trait or behavioral profile leave the main classroom to go their AP, honors, special education, or other specialized program.  Homogenous learning is bad they say because it creates “levels” of learning where disproportionate groups of students are “tracked” as they go through school as being lower level students (segregation) and this causes teachers to unfairly develop “low expectations” for such students.  Hence, get rid of all the levels. 

The political dogma behind this is the belief that honors and advanced placement courses, as well as proficiency tests, are a form of “segregation” and “oppression” by white culture entrenched in our schools because, according to their statistics, it is often students of color who are under-represented in these advanced programs, or unfairly over-represented in at-risk and disability programs.  Yes, this is applied critical race theory. 
Isn’t this just lowering the standards and depriving opportunities to students who excel regardless of a student’s skin color?  Likewise, if special education is eliminated or scaled back, isn’t that detrimental to the students who need that help?
“Equity” means “proportionality” according to this strain of social justice.  Group outcomes.  The  univariate measurement is an “audit”: are student groups by race, gender, disability, ESL, represented in all school programs equal to their proportion in the school population?  If not, the school is not equitable.   And something must be done.  Environmental factors outside the school (other variables that might explain a disparity which any honest social scientist would investigate) are to be ignored or must be ameliorated by the school system as a matter of justice–as though a teacher can fix all societal problems. 

It is interesting to note that Asian students are apparently not considered students of color and appear to be grouped with white students.  No doubt this is due to Asian students tending to be over-represented in advanced classes which conspicuously disproves the underlying accusation that our schools perpetuate systemic racism.  This reveals another expedient strategy that is emerging: the manipulation of data by politically motivated superintendents.  
Here in Wisconsin this political pedagogy is promoted by the Madison company Integrated Comprehensive Systems for Equity (hereafter “ICS Equity”).  See the link below to an in-depth article about this company.  According to the handbook written by the founders of this company (I have read it), the foundational concept is called “natural proportions” which is the same idea: a focus on student identity-group performance (race, gender, etc.) over individual student performance.  If an audit reveals an unfair group disparity in the school, the school system needs to be “dismantled” and transformed so that all students feel “a sense of belonging” in “heterogeneous” classrooms (that word again).  
The La Crosse School District has hired ICS Equity for staff training and the Superintendent has informed me that he does not intend to eliminate AP or honors courses or lower any classroom standards.  His goal with ICS Equity training is to raise the achievement of struggling students. 


Many parents justifiably object to the more extreme superintendents out there who want to eliminate programs and lower certain performance standards for the sake of Woke social justice.  To these parents, true colorblind social justice means staying on the progressive and enlightened path of creating equal opportunities for all students, which will inherently result in unequal outcomes because of varying individual traits and interests.  We are not all the same.  Identity-group politics should not invade the classroom. 


The author of the following linked article (a Wisconsin college teacher) examined the ICS Equity handbook in detail and his article is worth reading The introduction of the handbook begins with a quote from a book written by a devout Marxist (Paulo Freire) about how it is in the interest of the oppressor to weaken the oppressed. (p. xxvii)  The handbook follows that quote with the unsubstantiated and provocative claim that “The population of oppressed or dehumanized students in our schools is growing.”  The article’s author observes that this is the general trend of ‘Education Science’ where normal academic standards and methods rooted in the scientific method are eschewed for a mythological, religious belief system and the handbook contains many professions of belief instead of rigorous studies.