Ruining Good Schools, Not Fixing Bad Ones
by Vickie Paladino
Jul 18, 2018 | 9658 views | 0 0 comments | 531 531 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mayor Bill de Blasio has apparently given up. He has no plan to fix the public school system in this city, and in fact has decided not to even try. Instead he’s chosen his usual path: cheap political posturing.

In what can only be described as an embarrassment of a school system, we do have schools that we can be proud of.

New York’s legendary Specialized High School system is famous for being the absolute best of its kind in the world, churning out some of the most successful students in the country, with countless Nobel laureates, political leaders, authors, scientists, and engineers among the ranks of graduates.

They represent a rare crown jewel in an otherwise dysfunctional public education system. They work and have worked for almost a century now.

So, in his neverending effort to distract from the glaring failures of his administration, de Blasio naturally wants to kill them.

He plans to do that in the name of social justice, because he can’t have children doing well if the outcomes don’t meet his racial quota goals.

So, instead of an entrance exam that identifies the best of the best in the system, he wants to abolish that fair and level playing field and just open admission up to the top 7 percent of every junior high school citywide, regardless of how those schools perform overall.

No longer would admittance be based on the culmination of a years-long effort for those few who chose to work extremely hard, giving up time playing video games or surfing the internet, so they could be the best students they could be.

In de Blasio’s city we can’t have kids reap the rewards of their hard work, that would be too close to the American dream for him.

And eliminating the meritocracy in the city's Specialized High School system would fit in rather nicely with his one-size-fits-all Marxist philosophy.

What we’d see is an immediate decline in the performance of the specialized high schools. The quality of the students is what makes these schools great — kids who earn the right to be there through their own dedication and sacrifice, and who because of their abilities need to be challenged in a way that regular high schools are unable to.

De Blasio and his supporters will tell you this is all done in the name of “fairness” — the Marxists always do — but fairness to whom? Certainly not the students who’ve worked for years towards entrance to a specialized high school.

And not the rank-and-file students who are now potentially eligible for entrance under watered-down standards either. They’re being used as political props for a lazy and ineffective mayor more interested in being seen as a social justice activist than running a city.

Not to mention this is all much easier than actually fixing our grotesquely underperforming elementary education system, which would require talking about real reforms that this mayor wouldn’t dare touch lest he anger his puppet masters in the teachers union.

Instead our children continue to suffer in sub-par (but lavishly funded) public schools, and the exceptional few who try to rise above it by working hard for entrance into a specialized high school are now being slapped in the face as well.

That is why I recently joined thousands of people at City Hall to demand that we keep the SHSAT. We must preserve this system that works and works well for the most talented students in our system. There’s an old saying, if ain’t broke don’t fix it.

If de Blasio wants to see more students accepted to specialized high schools, he needs to do the hard work of fixing elementary education and expanding opportunities for exceptional students, not watering down and ruining the best schools in the city to satisfy some phony notion of social justice.

Vickie Paladino is a Republican candidate for State Senate in the 11th District in northeast Queens.
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