Many years ago I read a sci-fi short story about a future America where the laws prohibited anyone from being smarter, or prettier or more athletic than anyone else. Everyone had to operate at the same level of achievement.
If you were a superior athlete, you were forced to carry heavy weights or other impediments to slow you down or hamper your abilities.
If you possessed a intellect brilliant, you were forced to wear earplugs that emitted horrendously loud noises to distract you so you couldn't develop a serious line of thought.
If you were beautiful or handsome, you had to wear a mask that disfigured you.
In this manner, America finally realized a society where every citizen was truly equal.
It was an amusing story because it was so patently ridiculous and so -- unlikely.
From the American Thinker:
This is not funny at all. This is just another way to destroy the qualities that made America great, the unique capabilities of her people.
Our educational system is self-destructing because of a fraud known as the "achievement gap." One result of that fraud is that public school bureaucrats are taking away opportunities from good students in a misguided effort to help underperforming students.
When the mainstream media reports on progressive social policies, the results can be astonishing. A recent Washington Post "Metro" section featured a stunning educational policy: a school policy that ruins opportunities for bright students in order to help the less bright students ("Dumping honors classes for AP," May 22). The Post reports that honors classes are being abolished from the curriculum in Fairfax, VA, and many schools across the country. The purpose of abolishing the honors courses: to help "underrepresented minority students." With that article, the Post unwittingly exhibited the core of the problem with education in this country: The flawed system and students' low culture. Each factor combines in a downward spiral to give us the bad educational results we have today.
Schools across the country generally have three tracks of courses: basic, honors, and Advanced Placement courses. Honors classes are being removed because "traditionally underrepresented minorities" are not taking enough AP courses. You might wonder what on earth removing honors courses will do to encourage bad students to take AP courses. Fairfax's "assistant superintendent for instructional services" Peter Noonan helpfully explains: "We've found that traditionally underrepresented minorities do not access the most rigorous track when three tracks are offered. But when two tracks are offered, they do." This may seem like a silly social engineering effort, but there is a serious concept behind this laughable policy: the "achievement gap."
[...]Now, Fairfax is going to ruin an opportunity for bright and motivated students in order to make up for the less motivated, less capable students who are not inclined to take AP courses. This policy alone is bizarre and destined for mediocrity, at best. Yet, that bad policy is just the tip of the iceberg of error that liberal social engineers keep backing up and ramming into. The iceberg itself is made up of obsolete social theories and fallacious sociological schemes.
The pious fraud about the "achievement gap" is more than just bunk social science and bad policy; it is harming the interests of good students. "Underrepresented" students are not going to improve their performance in a way that justifies the cost imposed on good students.
By eliminating honors classes, schools are destroying something of value in a futile quest to produce results that some refuse to produce.