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October 26, 2021

October 26, 2021

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The Dumbing Down of America by the Truly Dumb

by | Aug 5, 2021 |

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When everything’s a crisis, nothing is a crisis!

When everything is a catastrophe, then what’s not a catastrophe?

When we’re all in panic, is the pandemic far behind?

Unquestionably, in today’s world of hyper-inflated news headlines, everything is a catastrophe, everything’s a crisis, we’re in a panic waiting for the next shoe to drop, announcing it’s pandemic!

So I don’t have any new descriptors to describe, in short, what I’m about to tell you. But don’t doubt for a second there’s not a crisis, a catastrophe, a panic, and a pandemic brewing in our American educational system.

Naturally, when we talk about elementary, middle, or public high school education today, we are rightly obsessed with cancer that is Critical Race Theory (CRT). However, our real fear is that if CRT isn’t stopped, it will metastasize across all educational domains, resulting in, among other disturbing outcomes, a racial war among our children.

Parental hysterics over public school adoption of Critical Race Theory tenants is not only righteous but critically important if we’re going to arrest race-baiting and skin color as an excuse for the failure of African American and Hispanic American student performance. Moreover, we must reduce the heated fiction among ourselves before igniting a race fire we can’t quickly extinguish.

Yes, despite all the efforts of the Radical Progressive Left to use race as part of their “Identity Politics” to start such a war, parents have the power to stop it cold in the world of public education.

In addition to the Democrat Party, we know who’s at the forefront of pushing CRT to our students. Organizations like Black Lives Matter and the Radical Progressive Teacher’s Unions like the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.

These groups have no moral, legal or constitutional right to thrust CRT on public education students to hate each other based on skin color and falsely teach that White parents are somehow systemically racist.

But I’m about to tell you the Radical Left is also using CRT to excuse the persistent academic underperformance of select minorities, particularly Black and Hispanic students in our public-school systems across the nation. And in turn, blaming racial disparities in academic performance and admission to elite public exam high schools as evidence of racial discrimination. I say “select” minorities because Asian American students, many of whom are first-generation of recently immigrated parents, are thriving in highly challenging public schools, especially in highly competitive public exam high schools.

As for Black and Hispanic students, according to Critical Race Theory proponents, White European culture is deeply ingrained in American society. CRT claims the ever-persistent stream of White cultural racism dominates all social interactions at the expense of African and Hispanic Americans. But they fail to account for the success of Asian American students.

Nevertheless, according to CRT enthusiasts, racial discrimination, predominately discrimination and segregation of Black and Hispanic students, remains dominant in public education, relegating these minorities to under-funded, poor-quality schools. They claim this, in turn, dooms Black and Hispanic Americans to perpetual poverty and second-class citizenship.

Let me foreshadow my argument that Progressives’ presumptuous “remedy” for minority academic underperformance is far worse than the alleged disease.

Public Exam High Schools

The politics of public education are again at the forefront of controversy. But the argument that I’m speaking about has to do with Radical Progressive Activists who are viciously attacking our “Public Exam High Schools” as elitist, racially segregationist institutions designed to discriminate and exclude Black and Hispanic Americans from future economic and social standing.

Over the past year, Progressives have ramped up their ceaseless trashing of America’s cherished, long-historied, and heavily alumni-supported Public Exam High Schools as racist anachronisms. 

So what is a “Public Exam High School, and why are they being characterized as racist public institutions?”

To begin with, there are approximately 170 prestigious Exam Schools in a nation of more than 20,000 high public schools. Or in other words, Exam Schools comprise 0.85% or less than one percent of all public high schools. 

The mission of Exam Schools is to select the best scholastically performing students and continue their academic development at the highest levels. After four years, Exam Schools have shaped these top-ranked high school graduates into scholars ready to enter our nation’s more challenging academic environments like MIT, Cal-Tech, Harvard, Stanford, and the like.

Ninety-eight percent of Exam School graduates take the SAT exam for college entrance, whereas less than 65% of regular public school high school graduates do. Usually, 98% of exam school graduates apply to and are accepted into top-tier colleges and universities each year. Also, 97% of Exam School students graduate in four years where only 68% of students at schools with no academic or geographic criterion graduate on time.

Exam Schools are currently under assault by Radical Progressives to change the racial mix of accepted applicants to schools such as, Boston Latin, Boston Latin Academy, Stuyvesant High School, Bronx High School of Science, and Brooklyn Tech all in New York City, Lowell High in San Francisco and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria Virginia which is part of the Virginia Fairfax County school system.

These are among the top of the top best High Schools (both public and private). But remember, all of these Exam Schools are in Democrat stronghold school districts, with progressive school boards, superintendents, and city, county, and state political leadership. These are all members of the “Woke” CRT multitude of New Age racists. Remember, CRT supporters advocate reverse discrimination against Whites as the only remedy for systemic White racism.

But proponents of American meritocracy note New York City’s big three Exam Schools, Stuyvesant High School, Brooklyn Technical High School, and The Bronx High School of Science, have produced 14 Nobel prize laureates, more than most countries. 

By definition, Exam Schools are Centers of Academic Excellence. Their founders and current administrations have designed these schools to advance scholarship opportunities for the best qualified public school students. To this end, Exam Schools select and admit students based on various prior academic performances, but most often, they employ standardized, measurable criteria.

For instance, Exam Schools judge applicants on their middle school GPAs and scores from 8th grade, standardized cognitive tests like the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) or the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE), or New York State’s Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT).

Students from across a city or school district take these exams as part of their application process. In addition to standardized test scores and grade-point averages, these schools also carefully review a student’s attendance and punctuality records before making final decisions.

Once an Exam School sorts and selects the top applicants, it mails out offers to students across the city or district. Reasonable people consider these quantitative-based admission standards as being “merit-based admissions.” Moreover, many of these families qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. So why are their families working so hard to see their children into these elite Exam Schools? Because a comparable private high school would cost them $25,000 to $32,000 a year in tuition alone.

Isn’t this what public education is about; giving opportunities for anyone willing to put in the effort to make something of their natural talents and gifts.

But here’s the rub, without exception, White and Asian American students dominate acceptance to these 170 Exam Schools. And it’s elementary to see why. White and Asian American students have the highest test scores, the highest GPAs, the best attendance, and the best punctuality records against all other racial categories. 

But make no mistake, Exam Schools didn’t design objective criteria to thwart any particular race as charged by Radical Progressives. After all, Asian Americans are a minority race in this country. But because Black and Hispanic applicants have consistently done poorly on standardized tests, and on average, have unimpressive GPAs, and poor attendance records is not evidence of race-selection bias.

Exam Schools control none of these variables. Thus, they are left to select student applicants from the school district’s broader pool of eighth-grade graduates.

Selection and Racial Balance

So how disparate are the admissions outcomes? Without exception, White or Asian American students dominate the enrollment to all 170 public Exam Schools. 

New York City

New York City has eight elite public Exam Schools.

Despite Black and Hispanic students comprising 70% of NYC’s students, only 9% received offers for the class year 2021-2022. Exam Schools awarded Hispanic students 5.4% of class placements, while they awarded 3.6% of the positions to Black students. The prior class year, 2020-2021, Black and Hispanic students received 4.5% and 6.6% offers.

Whites comprise 32.1% of NYC’s population, Hispanics 29.1%, Blacks 24.3%, and Asians 14.1%

Nearly 54% of offers went to Asian Americans, and approximately 28% went to White students.

At Stuyvesant, 74% of current students are Asian-American while only making up 14.1% of NYC’s population. In addition, of all eight NYC Exam Schools, Stuyvesant, Bronx High School of Science, and Brooklyn Tech are the most selective of the schools with the highest cutoff score for admission.

Stuyvesant also has the lowest percentage of Black and Hispanic students of New York City’s roughly 600 public high schools.

Stuyvesant made 33 offers to Hispanic students, up slightly from 27 seats last year. Stuyvesant offered 587 positions to Asian-American students and 194 seats to White students. White and Asian-American students make up about 15% of the total public school system. Sadly, the percentage of Black students at Stuyvesant has been declining for two decades. All these findings make NYC’s Exam Schools the most segregated set of high-performance schools in the country.

About 5,500 Black students took the admissions exam this year out of a total of about 27,500 applicants. 

California – Lowell High School

Lowell High School in San Francisco, with nearly 2,900 students, currently enrolls less than 2% Black students compared with 8% districtwide and less than 12% Hispanic students compared with 32% in all schools. In addition, Asian American students represent 51% of enrollment at Lowell, compared with 29% districtwide.

According to the California Department of Education, Lowell High School had an enrolled student body comprised of 51% Asian students, 18% White students, 12% Hispanic students, 6% Filipino students, and just 2% Black students. By comparison, in the overall San Francisco Unified School District, only 33% of students are Asian, 15% are White, 28% are Hispanic, and 6% are Black.

More to Come

There’s so much more to say about the crisis, the catastrophe, our panic, and the coming pandemic of divisive controversy surrounding meritocracy in public education.

In Part II, I’ll explore more data from the composition of other Exam Schools’ racial mix, or lack thereof. And I’ll discuss the pending harm to meritocracy as a guiding American value.

In short, we’re wasting human capital to buy “social-racial-equity.” Perhaps if the United States were the only nation on earth, this wouldn’t matter. But we aren’t alone. Public investment in human capital is essential if America remains internationally technologically and economically competitive with nations pouring massive resources into public education.

I believe that Radical Race-driven Activists and Policymakers should direct their efforts on closing the “achievement gap” early in a student’s academic career instead of trying to close the “racial gap” at the Exam Schools admission process!

It costs just as much to educate a gifted student as it does an under-achieving one. I’m not saying racial harmonizing and balance aren’t important goals; quite to the contrary.

The other question that begs asking is why Blacks and Hispanics are so bad at test-taking and why can’t they meet the other criteria currently required of White and Asian Exam School applicants?

Join me on Saturday for The Frankly Daniel Show, where I’ll continue to explain the Radical Progressives’ attack on meritocracy in public education.

The Frankly Daniel Show airs on Sat/Sun at 9 AM ET, with an Encore at 4 PM – There’s the gospel truth, the obvious truth, and the truth of the Radical Left. Do any of us know the difference today? I’m Daniel Francis Baranowski, and I’ll be your host in today’s high-stakes, political arena of blood sport politics! Join me on iHeart Radio, our world-class media player, or our free apps on AppleAndroid, or Alexa.

Daniel Baranowski

Daniel Francis Baranowski is a lifelong Conservative. As Registered Respiratory Therapist, he directed departments of Respiratory Care at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia before joining Project HOPE as their Deputy Director of International Healthcare Education Programs. Daniel holds degrees from the University of Arizona, the University of Chicago, and Harvard University. Currently, he’s a retired Teaching Fellow from the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard University School of Public Health.

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Russell Haley
Russell Haley
2 months ago

I still don’t understand why people split things out by race when there are so much better ways of showing why some people succeed. Hard work, discipline and sacrifice are not limited to certain races. When these disciplines are embraced through multiple generations, the benefits become obvious. History is replete with examples.

Why don’t you report on the average number of hours of homework done by the kids that succeed? Why don’t you report on the average number of hours spent by parents with successful children?
Why don’t you report on drug and alcohol use in teens and overlay that on maps of low acceptance scores?

There is just no need to break these things down by race. Find the areas with the lowest number of homework hours and focus on those areas. There will be LOTS of white areas and (gasp) even Asian dominant areas where these necessary sacrifices are low and will show evidence based reasons to spend the money there.

Never mind. That just makes way too much sense, nobody would ever go for it.

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