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Parents Defeat “Equity” School Agenda, Honors Courses To Be Reinstated In Barrington, Rhode Island

Parents Defeat “Equity” School Agenda, Honors Courses To Be Reinstated In Barrington, Rhode Island

Parent: “school officials needed to reflect on what happened… there needs to be consequences for those who were responsible.”

The “equity” and “de-leveling” controversy in Barrington, Rhode Island, is continuing to reverberate. We covered it in Parents Revolt Against “Equity” Agenda In Barrington (RI) As School District Drops Precipitously In National Rankings:

Barrington, Rhode Island, where Legal Insurrection Foundation is based, is the center of a firestorm of parent protest over an “equity” agenda scaling back or eliminating accelerated high school courses. This so-called “de-leveling” has united parents of all political affiliations in a parents movement that is gaining steam with calls to replace town political and school leadership.

We followed up after the story burst on the national scene, Parents Revolt Against “Equity” Agenda In Barrington (RI) As School District Drops Precipitously In National Rankings:

Barrington, Rhode Island, where Legal Insurrection Foundation is based, is the center of a firestorm of parent protest over an “equity” agenda scaling back or eliminating accelerated high school courses. This so-called “de-leveling” has united parents of all political affiliations in a parents movement that is gaining steam with calls to replace town political and school leadership.

It wasn’t always this way. The town once known as “Borrington” because nothing much happened now has become a hotbed of woke activism with progressive Democrats controlling the Town Council. Controversies have included the town flying the BLM flag over the Veterans Memorial, and then stripping the local veterans group of its role organizing the Memorial Day Parade after it protested. The Town Council even sponsored as an official town event an appearance by Ibram Kendi, which refusing to sponsor an alternative viewpoint.

This activism also has found its way into the school system, with an equally woke School Commitee, where “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” has reached near-religious dogma. The Equity part of the agenda has involved de-leveling — the reduction or elimination of accelerated and honors courses that were the lifeblood of the top-rated school district in the state.

Coverage by Fox News went viral, Rhode Island parents enraged at school board for removing honors classes in ‘equity obsession’. Barrington mother Ellen Schaffer was featured in our prior post, and was interviewed on Fox & Friends First:

I also was interviewed by Bill Hemmer on America’s Newsroom:

Bill Jacobson, founder of the nonprofit group Legal Insurrection, said Wednesday the schools in Barrington, Rhode Island are trying to eliminate “distinctions” where students can excel academically and achieve high honors.

On “America’s Newsroom,” Jacobson explained why high-performing schools in the community where he lives are moving to eliminate honors courses.

“A student doing well in a subject doesn’t take away from another student. It’s this ideology of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is the equity portion of it, which means everybody has to be equal. But parents don’t want that. What they want is equal opportunity for their children, but allow the gifted children to excel. So it’s really infuriated the community,” he said….

Jacobson said consultants are trying to “fix something that wasn’t broken” which as a result has parents outraged.

“We were doing quite well out of over 10,000 school districts in the country. We were ranked up until two or three years ago, 189th, which is astounding.”

As a result of the schools aiming for equity, Jacobson said the schools have started to suffer academically, now ranked in the 300s.

“There were these theories based on equity, based on everybody having to be equal, no one being allowed to excel, no one being made to feel bad if they don’t excel, that we’re like guinea pigs and people don’t want that in the community and they are rising up against it.”

Parents can claim victory, as last night the school committee announced it is restoring Honors courses. WJAR TV reports:

The Barrington School Committee is bringing back high school English and social studies honor classes.

The committee said the honor classes will be offered to freshmen and sophomores.

The move is after some parents came out against a plan to eliminate honors-level classes next year.

The district said it was partly an attempt to make classes more equitable.

Students not taking the honors course can get an honors distinction option if they prefer.

Details about that will be shared later.

The Barrington Times adds details, including how parents are questioning the use of an outside consultant that led to the deleveling:

Parents shared their thanks with school officials during a meeting Thursday night after learning that Barrington High School is bringing back dedicated honors courses next year and an improved honors distinction option.

Kara Kelley said she was pleasantly surprised by the changes presented during the Barrington School Committee meeting. Kelley, who had spoken in opposition to the removal of honors courses at a prior meeting, said Thursday night’s presentation of the new honors program “felt like progress.” She also offered a few suggestions to school officials as they continue fine-tuning the new honors program.

Other parents said school leaders needed to reflect on the moves that led the district to first call for the replacement of honors classes with an honors distinction option, and then eliminate that option altogether….

Barrington parent Devyn Smith, speaking via zoom, applauded Barrington High School Principal Joe Hurley for “doing the right thing” and bringing back honors classes.

Smith said the year-long issue was not Hurley’s fault, but had been thrust upon him by others. He said a paid consultant had led the district to make the changes to the curriculum, likely referring to Katie Novak. He said Barrington Public Schools had paid her $50,000 a year. He also blamed the decision on Paula Dillon, Barrington’s assistant superintendent of curriculum.

Smith said school officials needed to reflect on what happened. He said there needs to be consequences for those who were responsible. Smith also said it is time for the community to heal….

[School Committee member] Patrick McCrann said that while he liked the changes planned for the honors program, he was still unsure why school officials had first decided to alter the program. He asked for the data that supported the initial, failed change. He asked school administrators what problem they were trying to solve when they first decided to eliminate honors courses.

This is an important victory that relects parents uniting against “woke” ideology being pushed under an “equity” agenda. That the parents movement erupted in blue Barrington, in deep blue Rhode Island, is a sign of how powerful it has become.

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Comments

This is good news for Barrington, but what this means in Rhode Island is: Two steps forward, one and one half steps back.

Good win for normal people. Now don’t ever turn your backs on the people you defeated. Always verify, never trust.

There are parents who can make a good case that tracking is harmful to their children. There are parents who can make a good case that lack of tracking is harmful to their children. The government monopoly bureaucratic “public” school system cannot satisfy both groups. It is The One Best System. It ties their tails together and throws them over a clothesline. It laughs while they fight each other – one side winning some times, and the other side winning other times.

Stop fighting, and disestablish the government schools.

    broomhandle in reply to gibbie. | May 20, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    100% correct. We need smaller, more flexible schools that cater to appropriate needs. Government can retain certain roles but it is way past time to retire this dinosaur system that serves only unions and Democrats at the expense of students.

nordic_prince | May 20, 2022 at 1:23 pm

Janteloven (“Tall Poppy Syndrome”) is an unspoken tenet of Marxism:

You’re not to think you are anything special.

You’re not to think you are as good as we are.

You’re not to think you are smarter than we are.

You’re not to imagine yourself better than we are.

You’re not to think you know more than we do.

You’re not to think you are more important than we are.

You’re not to think you are good at anything.

You’re not to laugh at us.

You’re not to think anyone cares about you.

You’re not to think you can teach us anything.

henrybowman | May 20, 2022 at 5:17 pm

What I find heartening is that of the four parents mentioned by name in the Barrington Times account, three are registered Democrats, and one is an independent.
The left is indeed committing suicide by overreach.

    Dimsdale in reply to henrybowman. | May 20, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    When have they not? Sure, they can implement their socialist and radical ideas incrementally over time, but when they get the reins of power (don’t whip me!), they invariably drive the country into a ditch. Make that off a cliff.

    Case in point: the Biden regime. Pick any topic.

“De-leveling” is yet another scheme by the left to provide a trophy for everyone, in this case, a diploma, regardless of achievement.

It is simply a means of making schools generators of mediocre students, with one size fits all education, without even the decency of a pass/fail level of achievement.

I lament the latest trend towards no textbooks. In my high school, there are no textbooks. Even students complain. Even in light of the ridiculous pricing by publishers, texts are fundamental to learning, and don’t require electricity or potential distractions in the form of constant notifications on your screen.

China and the rest of the world continue to laugh…

Kurt Vonnegut’s story, “Harrison Bergeron,” quite aptly encapsulates the idiotic and malignant essence of the Dumb-o-crats’ utterly corrosive and totalitarian, so-called “equity” agenda.

apparently rhode island’s educational system needs a little scrubbing. heheh. watch……a system run and controlled by socialist fk mutts.

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