Why We Need To Keep Speaking Up
The above article has been taken down. The journal states:
"On 4 June, an opinion piece was published in Angewandte Chemie that contained offensive and inflammatory language aimed toward people of different genders, races, and nationalities.We apologize that this offensive and misguided essay was published in our journal, and we are deeply sorry for failing the community that puts their trust in us. The views expressed in the essay do not reflect the values of the journal in any way. That this article was published at all has demonstrated a breakdown in editorial decision-making.We responded swiftly, not just to right this wrong and correct an editorial mistake, but also to take a hard-look at ourselves"
Of newly admitted students to Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax County, one of the premier schools in the nation, not a single one was African-American. This is unacceptable. In its nearly quarter century of existence, TJ has struggled with enrollment of AA and Hispanic students. By struggle, I mean that the school has continued to exist, has tut-tutted its way around this issue, but has never quite found a way to correct this gross injustice. I personally know some of the teachers who are wonderfully intelligent and excited educators. But how can Fairfax County allow this to continue this way? A recent consultants report suggested that perhaps the way to address this was to expand the number of magnet schools to increase the potential for students of color to make into those places. But if you have one magnet school with this problem, what makes you think that you can have five and not have the same problem?This segregated school - Thomas Jefferson indeed - represents a mindset that is antiquated, discriminatory, and out of place in our county. If we are a county that proclaims One Fairfax - a vision of equity - but maintains and supports a segregated school in our midst, that lauds this school, provides it with great resources, and even rents out seats to neighboring jurisdictions, we are not just fooling ourselves, we are actively lying to ourselves. The county has had decades to solve this problem. Why is it not solved? It is a failure not of imagination, organization, or skills - it is a lack of will. The county doesn't want TJ to be representative of its people, so it isn't.
The practice of tracking students as early as the elementary grades is not based on sound research. There is no proof that these programs actually benefit society. In fact the society of mathematics instructors recommends exactly the opposite.