The American education system is being rigged by hard-core, radical leftist administrators and teachers and their unions. But their efforts go beyond implementing racist policies, corrupting our children with anti-American, pro-Marxist propaganda, sowing gender confusion and canceling parental rights. They’re also diminishing and curtailing hard work and success.
The latest example: 17 schools in Virginia did not notify students and their parents of National Merit awards those students had earned. That outrageous behavior was based on the bizarre claim that letting the students know about their commendations would not promote the school administrators’ stated objective of “equal outcomes for every student, without exceptions,” regardless of academic performance or lack of dedication to their studies.
Such intentional and disgraceful conduct is shocking. The receipt of such awards can be a key factor in the decisions made by college admissions officers as well as organizations that award scholarships. As someone who was able to attend college because of financial help from a National Merit scholarship, I find it despicable that these woke officials deliberately hurt the ability of their students to get into the college of their choice or to win the scholarships that could help them pay for school.
This misbehavior may have a long-term, deleterious effect on many of the affected students and, in particular, on their professional careers.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has proposed a new law to prevent this from happening again. He has also asked Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares to investigate the matter as a possible violation of the state’s education and civil rights law. But for the nearly 1,000 students who may have been hurt, all of this will come too late.
These reports surfaced only because of the persistence of a local woman and author, Asra Nomani. Nomani’s son, Shibli, earned one of the National Merit commendations. He attended Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a magnet school in Fairfax County, Virginia, that has earned a reputation as one of the best high schools in the country. It’s a school I know well: My daughter graduated from there 10 years ago, before its administrators started implementing these types of insane policies.
The school, however, withheld the information regarding Shibli’s award from the family for two years. The director of student services at Thomas Jefferson, Brandon Kosatka, and the school principal, Ann Bonitatibus, were apparently responsible for implementing this policy.
When Ms. Nomani pressed Mr. Kosatka on why the school failed to notify them about the award, he admitted that they withheld information about the time-sensitive academic honors because they did not want to hurt the feelings of those who didn’t receive such accolades.
Misbegotten policies like this do not merely have isolated effects. For instance, this policy, which was initiated at Thomas Jefferson and spread to other schools, primarily hurt Asian American students. Thomas Jefferson is already involved in a lawsuit filed by the parents of Asian American students because of a new admissions policy it implemented several years ago that discriminates against their children on the basis of race. And we are awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court on the discriminatory admissions policies of Harvard and the University of North Carolina in litigation brought by Asian American students.
All of this was discovered in late December. Even though the administrator at Thomas Jefferson admitted that this was a deliberate policy, the affected school districts suddenly claimed it was just an “error” as soon as it cane to light. This claim is very difficult to take seriously, and all the administrators who devised and implemented this egregious policy still have their jobs.
What really happened was captured by Ms. Nomani when she said that the “equity warriors out there want to talk about dismantling the systemic injustice, but they are actually now the purveyors of this racism and discrimination.” Truer words were never spoken about what is happening in our schools today.
• Hans von Spakovsky is a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.
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