Evanston High School Denies Gifted Children Opportunities

I have friends who live in Evanston and insist that it's the only suburb in which they could live, friends who wonder why people would choose to live in, say, Skokie (or God forbid Morton Grove or Niles) over Evanston. Never mind that those other 'burbs have more affordable houses and lower taxes.

And then there's the matter of schools. Despite the many people I know who received fine educations at Evanston Township High School (several decades ago) and despite the parents I know who are happy with their children's Evanston schools, I've always thought the Evanston public school system was something to be avoided.

And now I've been proven right. The board of education at the Evanston Township High School District 202 recently voted unanimously to eliminate their freshman honors humanities course. The course served students in the top 5%, who will now be mixed in with other students in the name of diversity and equality with a promise that every student in each classroom will be challenged.

I call bullshit.

It gets worse.

There is talk that the board will eliminate an honors freshman biology course next.


It's all being done in the name equal opportunity, of course. When I mentioned the cancellation of the honors humanity course to a friend, the cynical reply was, "Not enough black students in the honors class?"

Ouch again.

But the reality is that with a school like ETHS, one that has a tremendous range of socioeconomic and ethnic diversity within the student body, discussions about student achievement (or lack thereof) are inevitably tied in with class and race. And it can make for some dicey and uncomfortable dialogue.

I'm guessing there's a lot of this dialogue going on right now. You can see some of it in the comments over at the Tribune article.

Apparently, some posit that the actions of the school board in district 202 are part of a new trend to de-track or put an end to ability grouping in favor or "rigorous instruction for all."

And that's really scary.

Gifted students benefit from ability grouping. Yes, they do.

But, sadly, our nation's guiding education policy focuses on bringing up the bottom, rather than annual yearly academic progress for all students. So {shudder} this de-tracking thing could catch on.

Is your local school board considering these types of cuts?

According to the Trib article, there's talk of lawsuits over the school board's move. If legal action (or fear of it) will deter other schools from following in stride, then I'm all for it.

And since I'm all about the house hunt these days, do you think that maybe homes in Evanston just became a teensy bit more affordable?

Edited 12/16 to add this link to letter to the editor of the Washington Post from NAGC regarding eliminating G/T programs at urban schools.
You have just read the article entitled Evanston High School Denies Gifted Children Opportunities. Please read the article from Colored by Crimson Shadows About more. And you can also bookmark this page with the URL : http://coloredbycrimsonshadows.blogspot.com/2010/12/evanston-high-school-denies-gifted.html


Post a Comment

Copyright © 2013. Colored by Crimson Shadows