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Out-of-Control Multiculturalism at Berkeley High School

Dropping science labs because non-white students get lower grades is only part of the problem.

by
William M. Briggs

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January 15, 2010 - 12:51 am
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Berkeley High School (BHS) might drop its science labs from its curriculum.

The reason? Too many white kids — or not enough non-white kids, depending on your perspective — were taking these classes. According to an article in the East Bay Express, whacking the labs is intended to address BHS’s “dismal racial achievement gap.” The decision to make this change by the School Governance Council was “virtually unanimous.”

BHS science teachers were said to be “horrified” by the proposal. One pleaded, vainly, that the labs had a good share of non-whites: “17.5 percent African American and 13.9 percent Latino.”

This breakdown of students proves the lamentable “gap” spoken of by Berkeley commandants isn’t in enrollment, but in grades. The white kids are doing better in excess of what is acceptable — or the non-white kids are doing worse, depending on your perspective — such that the heart-warming state of equality is absent.

If equality of outcome with respect to grades is BHS’s goal, then eliminating the lab courses does ensure that all students will be equally poor in science. And when the administrators bring their report cards home, the paperwork will show an increase in “equality.”

The only problem with this pedagogical prestidigitation, like with all magic tricks, is that it can only be used once, or maybe twice. Resort to it too often, and the audience will see the rabbit up your sleeve.

But if BHS could get it away with it again, the next thing to go would be the other science and then the math classes, courses which are nothing better than inequality factories.

You might think that axing all those courses would leave a big whole in kids’ days, but do not despair, because there are plenty of alternatives in BHS’s books.

Like the required “History of the Americas” course, where emphasis is on “the formation of students’ own opinions of events.” This is a sister course to “Globalization,” where the kids “shall draft a more effective decision-making mechanism of world government,” mainly by re-creating the “process[es] within the U.N. General Assembly and Security Council.”

These subjects are merely preliminary to “Politics and Power” (“students largely run this course”) and “Contemporary La Raza History,” which “covers the spectrum of experiences of our Raza.” By which, presumably, they do not necessary mean my Raza, but a specific other Raza.

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