By forcing people with diverse values and desires to fund a single system of government schools, public schooling always has fostered divisive conflict, and always will.
The losses in lifetime earnings are of course only part of the issue: “Empirical evidence has linked school closures to several factors, including rising mental health concerns, lower levels of engagement, reports of violence against children, rising obesity, increases in teenage pregnancy, rising levels of chronic absenteeism and dropouts, and overall deficits in the development of socioemotional skills due to social isolation from networks and peers.”
These effects tend to be larger for student who are from economically disadvantaged families, and those who are already falling behind academically. Schools tend to be a “great equalizer,” making up to some extent for the unequal distribution of other educational resources across families. Those children who depended most on public schools also lost the most when the schools shut down.
When a policy originally intended to compensate blacks for a long history of oppression has gradually morphed into efforts to cap the number of Asian students at selective universities, something has gone badly wrong.
While the population has grown, the number of college students has declined in the past decade.
Once viewed as prestigious, high costs are now a deterrent, even if few students actually pay the full amount.
“If I would have gone to college after school, I would be dead broke,” one high school graduate told the A.P.
“Why do I want to put in all the money to get a piece of paper that really isn’t going to help with what I’m doing right now?”
The issue is the result of a districtwide policy of de facto grade inflation.
The widening gap between grades and actual academic performance shows the perils of letting concern for “equity” drive educational policy. In a quest to pass more disadvantaged students, Los Angeles public schools may in fact be failing them.
It is not a workplace “disruption” that co-workers objected to a MAGA hat
The court here correctly, I believe, worked from the assumption that a government school was constitutionally required to be institutionally neutral about political values. The school as such could not prefer Black Lives Matter posters to MAGA hats, and could not base employment decisions on such preferences. It is evident that many university professors, administrators and leaders, at both public and private institutions, would not work from that same assumption.
On Wednesday, a federal appeals court denied the Biden administration’s request to block a Texas judge’s ruling that declared the policy unconstitutional.
“Academics seeking employment or promotion will almost inescapably feel pressured to say things that accommodate the perceived ideological preferences of an institution demanding a diversity statement, notwithstanding the actual beliefs or commitments of those forced to speak.”