Parents In Rhode Island School District Outraged Board Pulled Honors Classes Over 'Equity Obsession'

Parents In Rhode Island School District Outraged Board Pulled Honors Classes Over 'Equity Obsession'

Parents of students who attend public schools in Barrington, Rhode Island, which are considered among the best in the state, are angry after the school board decided to ditch honors classes because they are obsessed with the left-wing woke concept of “equity,” which is not the same thing as “equality.”

According to Fox News, “many parents move to the district, and tolerate the higher taxes, because of the academic rigor that sets their children up for attending Ivy League schools or receiving academic merit scholarships.” The report added that “all of that academic appeal is being chipped away after the district brought in a so-called ‘equity and inclusion’ agenda.”

The report went on to note that the school district implemented a system of universal learning for the most vulnerable students known as de-leveling — those with learning disabilities and Individualized Education Programs. In February 2020, as the COVID pandemic was beginning to spread, the district removed some conceptual courses. Overall, parents of children in those classes did not say much because they would risk of “outing” their kids as having a disability and needing some special accommodations.

But according to Fox News, one mother whose daughter has an IEP and went to the removed conceptual classes said that the de-leveling has caused her grades to fall.

“I don’t think I would ever be a fan of de-leveling, but the timing [to implement it during COVID] is what makes it very suspicious to me. So it just felt like it was an easy way for them to get their agenda through without pushback because people were so busy dealing with other stuff,” she told Fox News Digital on condition of anonymity.

“It [took away] any kind of individuality … or … personalized education plan for kids. It’s ‘you’re just going to be some homogenized like education factory where they raise everybody’s the same,'” the mother continued.

Fox News adds:

Rage broke loose among parents of all political stripes after the honors students were targeted, parents said. The school announced that the days of honors English and social studies were gone. Parents protested, arguing that the move deprived their children of a competitive edge – and in effect – future opportunities such as merit scholarships. 

During a March 30 meeting, over a dozen parents and students scolded the school board. 

“My daughter has lost out on opportunities which could affect merit scholarships for her, which I think is appalling … You don’t really know what you’re doing on this,” one mother noted at the meeting.

A parent who identified himself as a dentist with immigrant parents from Mexico noted: “You guys are doing this for someone like me. My parents … didn’t speak English … Nobody asked me.

“Like, I’m the person that you’re supposedly trying to help. So you guys have your own idea of what diversity, equity, and inclusion means, and it doesn’t take into account an actual person that has been through some of the worst public schools in Chicago, lives in neighborhoods where people are shooting each other, drug dealers and gang members … That’s where I grew up till I was about 12. So how come no one is asking me? I have a lot to share,” the parent continued.

“If you guys really believe in [equity], then pick an average or below average dentist and see what you get. But you guys get the ratings, and you pick the best that’s available. And you know what? For some fields, that’s what you need. You need the best. And I’m here to speak about that …  It’s embarrassing that you guys have done this,” the parent added.

Said another father: “Barrington administrators hired a consultant to justify this … And yet no one thought about the impact this would have on kids applying for financial aid or for college admissions. Not one top school in our state or Massachusetts has gotten rid of honors. Not one. And our consultant that you hired is all proud that we were going to be the first one. I’m not sure that’s something we want to be proud of.”

Bill Jacobson, a long-time Barrington resident and founder of the Legal Insurrection news site, said, “De-leveling is part of an agenda of equalizing outcomes. This equal-results approach stems from critical race theory and diversity, equity and inclusion, which posit that unequal outcomes are the result of systemic bias and discrimination. ‘Equity’ in particular is the codeword for bringing high achievers down to equalize outcomes.

“‘Equity’ has become an unhealthy obsession, and parents are seeing the impact,” he added.


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