Education Nightmares Revisited


With the threat of a second, unfettered term for President BHO looming, one begins to wonder what sort of legacy he would try to cobble together.  Well, smack in the middle of that second term would be the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.  A drumbeat from the left has been growing over the last year or so, pounding once again for education reform that would close the "achievement gap," and Obama has done little, other than criticizing 43's No Child Left Behind.

That can mean only one thing: a massive federal push for desegregation and busing.  Right on cue, professional mischief-maker David L. Kirp enters, stage left, in the NYT Sunday Review:

The failure of the No Child Left Behind regimen to narrow the achievement gap offers the sobering lesson that closing underperforming public schools, setting high expectations for students, getting tough with teachers and opening a raft of charter schools isn’t the answer. If we’re serious about improving educational opportunities, we need to revisit the abandoned policy of school integration.

The piece is a real blast from the past, marshaling all sorts of refried arguments, but seasoned with new data that show, among other things, "black youths who spent five years in desegregated schools have earned 25 percent more than those who never had that opportunity. Now in their 30s and 40s, they’re also healthier—the equivalent of being seven years younger."

Kirp's bottom line: Poor black kids who are forced to be in the same room with rich white kids will be smarter, wealthier, and healthier!  You will struggle to find political correctness that is more racist than this.

Lost in the shuffle once again are middle-class kids, about whose education our federal overlords could not give a flip.  Whether it's Romney or Obama, those kids will continue to learn tolerance instead of math.  Neither the liberal arts that undergird civilization nor the vocational training that bolsters a strong manufacturing base is on the radar, let alone a priority.  So get ready, America, to look more and more like Rockford, Illinois, where unemployment is staggering and the largest employer is the public school district.  That's what a decade of federally mandated desegregation bought us.

Aaron D. Wolf

Aaron D. Wolf

Aaron D. Wolf (1973-2019) was Chronicles' executive editor.  His writings have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. He was a frequent guest on Issues, Etc. (Lutheran Public Radio) and The Paul Youngblood Show (, and has appeared on several other radio programs, including The Tom Clark Show (Wisconsin Public Radio) and Extension 720 With Milt Rosenberg (WGN).

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