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Dori: Seattle Public Schools want to take away AP, honors classes

The key to socialism is that you don’t lift people up — what you do is, you drag the other achievers down. Keep that in mind when I tell you that the Seattle Public Schools have a plan to phase out AP and gifted student programs.

The schools are looking at getting rid of the AP and honors programs by 2023. Denise Juneau, the superintendent of the school district, told KNKX Radio that the programs for advanced learners turned the school into “a slave ship” and “Apartheid High,” to quote students with whom she has spoken.

The reason they’re saying that is because white kids make up 47 percent of the district, but 67 percent of the gifted learners programs. Black kids make up 15 percent of the district but only 1.6 percent of the honors programs. So since there is a disproportionate number of kids by race, they say it is a slave ship.

Regardless of race, one of the most important aspects in student achievement is parental involvement in that child’s life.

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When my oldest daughter was in one of these advanced learning programs in the fourth grade in a different school district, we went to the parents’ night. There were about 24 kids in each class — the advanced class and the normal class. In the gifted students class, there were 40 parents who showed up to parents’ night. In the mainstream class, there were five.

What does that tell us about the link between parental involvement and student learning?

The solution, according to the Seattle Public Schools, is to take away the programs for the high-achieving kids. Let’s bring them down. You won’t improve the lives for kids at the bottom of the scale. You’re just punishing the kids whose parents sit down with them and help them with their homework.

Is that really a positive?

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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