Recently, Patrick Henry High School Principal Michelle Irwin, with no prior notification or discussion with parents, decided to remove several honors, advanced and gifted education courses from the curriculum. Her stated reason was to move away from “stratifying” classes and to “eliminate racial disparities in honors enrollment.” This is Critical Race Theory (CRT) in action. To achieve “educational equity,” Principal Irwin seeks to reduce the educational gap by eliminating educational opportunities for gifted children of all races. Under CRT’s twisted logic, if our students all learn the same less challenging material at a slower pace, they will all succeed. These ill-conceived equity-driven policies at San Diego’s largest high school are at odds with two foundational principles of America’s public education system: providing a high-quality education to all students (regardless of race) and encouraging and rewarding achievement. Ironically, there is growing evidence that equity-driven policies actually increase the educational gap between races. Chris Stewart, a black CEO of the educational think tank Brightbeam, stated in a 2020 report entitled “The Secret Shame”: «We tried to explain [the increase in achievement gap in districts which implement equity policies] away, but we couldn’t.” Closer to home, in October 2020, Coronado’s School Board Trustees approved Policy 0415. In measure nine, the CUSD policy states the Governing Board shall “Review current program evaluations focusing on educational equity and address the academic outcomes and performance of all students on all indicators.” In other words, equality of results. Would disparities in outcomes between students of different races lead to the elimination of gifted programs in Coronado, as well? During recent CUSD school board meetings, I have spoken against the negative effects equity-based policies will have on our highest-achieving students. As a declared candidate for CUSD’s school Board, if elected, I will advocate for expanding Coronado High School’s offerings of Honors and AP courses. I will also advocate for expanding tutoring, academic coaching and tailored remediation for students who struggle with the standard curriculum. All students in our community deserve the best we can offer.
VOL. 112, NO. 16 - April 20, 2022