Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Obama Stronghold Evanston Scraps HS Honors Programs -- Too Many Whites Qualified

WLS radio reported this morning that the Evanston Township High School, in the Obama electoral stronghold of Evanston, IL, was scrapping a number of its honors and advanced placement programs.

The reason, according to ETHS Superintendent, Eric Witherspoon, is that too many whites are qualifying for the program.

Make no mistake about it, Evanston is one of the premier, left-wing Obama strongholds in the entire State of Illinois. The North suburban berg voted 87.14% for Obama in the 2008 Presidential election. According to the Pioneer Press the black precincts of Evanston, delivered 98.03% of the vote for Obama, while even the traditional Republican precincts in that town heaved up 60.8% for him.

This is one very wildly left-wing town -- home of the overt socialist Congressperson, Jan Schakowsky, no less.

So you would think that the educational establishmentarians there, would get into the spirit of their beloved Obama's October 19th Executive Order on Educational Excellence.

In signing it, he said, "It is imperative to improve opportunities for all students and make sure each child has access to a good education ... so that every child has a chance to fulfill their God-given potential."

So you would think that such a lofty pronunciamento would signal a need to maintain special educational opportunities for the gifted student.

But not so for the overpaid unionized "educators" in Evanston. They're into levelling.

It seems that a variety of top-tracked, special honors classes for gifted students who scored in the top 95th percentile of nationally-standardized tests were attracting mostly white and Asian students. And hardly any blacks.

So the solution proposed by Witherspoon & Co.?

Eliminate the honors programs.

In past years they have eliminated senior English honors programs and now they propose to eliminate honors curricula for freshman biology and freshman Humanities.

Witherspoon, who pulls down $230,000 of the taxpayers dollars per year knows on which side his political bread is buttered. That is, of course, in pandering to the left-wing mob of Evanston levellers.

(You can see Witherspoon's salary and the salaries of all ETHS personnel here.)

Funny that this great Obama claque doesn't take the anointed one at face value when he talks about the need for all kids to be given a chance to "fulfill their God-given abilities."

Too bad for the gifted and above-average kids of Evanston, Illinois.

(Evanston Township High School is located at 1600 Dodge Ave., Evanston, IL 60201 | 847-424-7000,


  1. Moonbattery did a post on this too. This is so shameful. Don't have high expectations for other kids, just dumb down the requirements for everyone, so they all fail equally.

    So freaking stupid.

  2. Yet these are mostly liberal white parents, sacrificing their own children on the altar of their PC multiculturalist religion. I knew a guy from Minnesota, whose DFL-lefty mother did this to him -- sent him to an inner city mostly black school where he was beaten up all the time and wildly discriminated against.

    By the time we met him in College at the UW, he was more adamant than most members of the Ku Klux Klan.

    He later got a job in Washington, D.C. where he intelleigently advanced the conservative movement and the Reagan agenda, --- his mother's goo-goo liberalism to the contrary.


  3. The ideology is more important than anything to them, more important than reality, than their own children even. How sad is that? It's as though they don't want the best for their children, they just want their children to goose-step to the ideology too.

    You know, all cult members do that, now that I think about it.

    How sad and how scary is that?

  4. "He later got a job in Washington, D.C. where he intelleigently [sic] advanced the conservative movement and the Reagan agenda"

    Well, that makes one of you!

  5. Looks like we've had a visitor from the political wastelands of Evanston. Notice how these statists never actually contend with the arguments -- but readily just resort to schoolyard namecalling?

  6. Ahh, I remember 1st grade! How nice you let the kiddies come over to play! ;)

  7. This is the final act in the long, slow decline of ETHS. White Evanstonians may be liberal, but they are ambitious for their precious kids, anxious that they attend first tier colleges. These parents will now flee the school and or the town, with predictable consequences.

  8. I went to Evanston High School. And while I do not agree with the superintendants plan to eliminate these programs, I can sort of see where he is coming from. I took both honors and regular level classes at ETHS, and even when I went there (more than five years ago) the honors classes were at the very least 85% white. The regular level classes were a 50/50 split at best. I believe Mr. Witherspoon is trying to enhance the classroom experience for all students at the high school. It is naive to think that the level of education at ETHS will decline significantly because of this decision. By mixing the the gifted and less gifted students in the same classroom, it effectively gives each group of students an opportunity to interact in the same environment that most of them otherwise wouldnt have had under the old system, and doing exactly what President Obama is trying to achieve, giving every student the same opportunity at an equal yet high education.

  9. I taught in a Dallas urban school that was mostly a mix of Hispanics and Black, with an IB (International Baccalaureate) program that comprised about 10% of the school population. My class was an elective that drew from all kids. For the most part, kids stayed within their own clicks, even in the classroom. I could see instantly who was going to succeed and who was not. Although there were racial lines, it was firmly based on the home life or lack of any support for each and every student. Education starts at home. After three years of ridiculous constraints by federal mandates tied to federal money, I decided to go back to the professional community. To eliminate an advanced program is a step backwards. For minorities, it is the only way out. The smart students use it.

  10. The Anonymous writer 2 posts above wrote:

    "It is naive to think that the level of education at ETHS will decline significantly because of this decision. By mixing the the gifted and less gifted students in the same classroom, it effectively gives each group of students an opportunity to interact in the same environment that most of them otherwise wouldnt have had under the old system,"

    The Evanston Review report on this quoted a (very well paid) ETHS social science teacher as saying, pretty much the same thing. She said that with the phase-out of the Freshman Humanities course, she would have a big multiculturalist class, where they would read "Raisin in the Sun" and all would be just swell. Sounded to me like one big "bull session."

    But there have been studies that show that genius-level kids when tossed in with the slugs, lose interest and begin cutting classes.

    And what about the end of the biology honors programs? Do you mean to tell me that this is good for the brilliant kids? I thought Obama was concerned over the poor performance of US kids in science. Now we are to slow down the pace of learning to accomodate the dolts?

    I guess if we need scientists and doctors, we can always increase the level of immigration from Korea and China where they are encouraging their gifted students and not dumbing down their schools. The gifted American kids can always join the dolts in hamburger flipping jobs. That's much more egaltarian, isn't it?

  11. If a student or group of students excel then let them have access to the programs that will challenge them. NO MATTER WHAT COLOR THEY ARE!

  12. WHAT?!? This is RACISM, pure and simple liberal, left-wing, idiot racism!!! This is proof that liberals hate whites and will do everything they can to inhibit their potential. By eliminating honors programs, they want whites to be equal failures to blacks. Whites aren't responsible for black failures in education -- BLACKS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR BLACK FAILURES IN EDUCATION! This elimination of honors classes is an attempt to drag whites down into the same poverty level as blacks. By lowering the quality of education, these selfish, racist, stupid progressive liberals are keeping everyone ignorant so the liberals can be in control. This is what the Soviets did in Russia, it is what the Nazis did in Germany, it is what Pol Pot did in Southeast Asia and it's being tried here in America. Dumb down Americans and the liberals will be in control before you know it.

  13. You have got to be kidding!!! This is very definitely reverse discrimination. I am sick of it. Enough is enough!!! I know what the superintendent is trying to do, in theory, but he needs to live in the real world and discrimination is discrimination, no matter what color!!!
    STOP with ruining it for those who are trying to excel.

  14. Again, more ignorance and racism flying around from people who don't know what they're talking about. So when the smart kids get thrown in with the dumb kids, it has a no effect on the less fortunate? And to the person who said that when genius level kids get thrown in with the "slugs" they loseinterest and cut class: I'm pretty sure that behavior would remove them from that "genius" category. Smart kids will continue to be smart. Get over yourself.

  15. This was happening in Rockford, IL to. The parents just won, keeping the honors classes!! Same "reasons" were given too. Wonder where the idea originated??????

  16. The anonymous poster 2 above at 6:02 would do best to "get over" his liberal "progressive" religious tenets and get with the real world.

    I had the good fortune to go to an all-boys Jesuit Prep school on the North Shore. We were tracked by ability. I did not have the mathematical capacity or science capacity to run with the geniuses in that realm. And had I been tossed in with them -- I would have held them back.

    Likewise, I had a verbal and linguistic facility that far superceded some of the science and math genuises -- and had they been thrown in with me, they would have held me back.

    Just who are these left-wing levellers who believe in a "one size, fits all" academic regimen?

    They are leftist morons. They are ideological zealots. And they hate our kids.

    But it now turns out that all Hell is about to break loose in Evanston. Some parents there are serious.

    Some of them care about our kids.

    And what is amusing is that Evanston Township High School -- unless it reforms -- is about to see a huge hemorrhage of its best and brightest students -- and is about to become a regional laughingstock.

  17. Sounds you have a blog that's more rooted in promoting the own agenda than "progressive" and healthy debate. Just because you went to Loyola doesn't make you better than everyone else.

  18. Well, if a healthy debate is what you want, it might be nice if you would raise an argument in favor of your apparent "progressive" biases, rather than just blather ad hominem vis Loyola Academy. But, I understand, a cogent argument in favor of this ETHS stupidity might be hard to fashion. Good grief, even a dyed-in-the wool liberal like Neil Steinberg in the Sun-Times thinks that this move by Witherspoon was sheer insanity.

  19. WTF? I was really enjoying the conversation between C. Lampoon and A. Non Ymous. And now it seems that it has come to an unfinished end.
    First it's the networks cancelling so many (of my favorite)quality shows in favor of some pretty mediocre waste of bandwidth programs. (mostly I am referring to the so-called reality shows, but more than a few bad dramas made it through as well) Now here it is happening on a blog.
    You would think that at least one intelligent "progressive" apologist would step up to the challenge and give you a reply.
    I would, but alas I cannot. It is an indefensible position what can I say? So you must be correct CL, a 'cogent argument in favor of this ETHS stupidity (must) be (too) hard to fashion'.
    I would like to add that when I was going through elementary school, I wish there had been some sort of (dare I say it?) segregation. Whereas I should have been in a more advanced learning environment, instead I was in schools where there was no tracked system. I was a poor student, not for lack of intelligence, but I was so utterly bored. Years later I discovered my IQ was above, not below average. Hell they had me believing it. Meanwhile I learned more at home reading and "experimenting" as my mother called it than I did in school. I was still in the single digits when I was taking part televisions, electric appliances, engines and studying them. By the time I was 10 or 12 I was repairing things. I did what I know now is "self study" learning the nature and attributes of applied physics, mechanics, electricity and later on electronics. I progressed the understanding the theoretical aspects of each of those disciplines. In my adult years I added engineering design safety technology and became a liaison between the company I worked for and Underwriters Laboratories in Northbrook. I was self employed building and selling computers, did some programming and now among other things provide web hosting and do website design. to the list.

  20. cont'd
    All this despite having loathed belittled school and the educational system in general. I think maybe my greatest remorse is how that hurt my development. Here I am especially thinking of math. I understood addition, subtraction multiplication and division pretty much right off. In those days there were no calculators. It was all pencil and paper, long division, show your work etc. But how many hundreds of did they expect me to do before they realized I understood it? I would realize later that a recurring pattern was good grades on the test and failure on the homework which was rarely completed or done with total disregard. I guess I was a little rebellious, but thought since I already knew how to add, subtract, divide and multiply, having just done ten or fifteen problems in class that day, and for days, and for weeks on end... Well it just seemed pointless.
    I grew to hate math. Why? Because I was not allowed to advance in knowledge at the same rate as I was advancing in understanding. I was being stalled while the teacher was bringing my classmates (and me included, I'm sure my teachers thought) up to speed. I grew to hate math.
    Because of my distaste for all things mathematical I had a HUGE gap in my education, such that when I was finally understanding the Laws of Physics and Electronics I hit major impediments to going beyond that point. When my skills in math and simple algebra became insufficient to gain further understanding of these concepts i.e. when the calculations became too dense on the page, my eyes would start to glaze over and I went on to something else. Who knows where my life would have gone. Maybe I would have been a physicist or an engineer instead of a technician and a smart ass.
    OK I had better wrap it up here. I will put my conclusion in the form of two rhetorical questions. In what reality does it make sense to cancel a program where every student has an equal opportunity to an education that "gives them a chance to to fulfill their God-given potential."? And I mean all, not just the smart kids. I'm sure that there were other students in my class that also lost out because for them the class went a little too fast for them to grasp. Did they get the "chance to to fulfill their God-given potential."?
    I would like to see this episode (argument) continue, but like a half a dozen or so shows that were cancelled in the past few years they aren't a-gonna come back are they?
    Any takers?

  21. Very interesting story of how a "one size fits all" system thwarted your ability to meet your full potential.

    It reminds me a bit of Thomas Aquinas. His teachers called him a "dumb ox" because he could never correctly answer when called on.

    In reality, he was so bored by the simple stuff that the teachers were presenting that he was studying on his own and was miles ahead of the rest of the class.

    He, of course, became one of the greatest philosopher/theologians ever and had a profound effect on the development of Western thought.

  22. I'm glad you took the time to read my post. Having just reread it I wish now that I had proofread it before posting. There are numerous grammar errors proximate to where I made some edits. Aaaugh!

    Philosophy and theology might have been good good choices for me since they require little in the way of math. Back then I guess I just didn't fancy philosophy.

    Any hope for theology was beaten out of me later on by the nuns.

  23. As a follow-up to this post, please note that the ETHS administration released the 3 year evaluation analysis of the freshman Humanities de-tracking program during the last board meeting (9/12/2011). Three years ago a lower achieving "track" was eliminated and ETHS created a "mixed-honors" class comprised of students scoring at the 40th percentile (below grade level) in reading to 94th percentile (a year above grade level). The analysis showed no improvement in student achievement as measured by growth in test scores. Despite this, the administration claimed success and is moving forward with eliminating honors classes in Humanities and Science (for 2012/2013 year)!

  24. Thanks for the update.

    No improvement whatever and add to that the likely dispiriting effect on the advanced students.

    Let's face it ETHS and schools like it aren't about student achievement and intellectual advancement, They're about ideological formation for the kids and fat salaries and pensions for the employees.

  25. I go to ETHS; the program is working so that excelling kids have the opportunity to get honors credit in the class if they want to and not just automatically. If you do more work, you get the honors credit. It's a better challenge for everyone.

  26. You are full of crap. Do you mean to tell me that herding semi-serious students from the lower 40 percentile in with high-IQ, high acheivers creates a better climate for the serious students?

    That flies in the face of common sense and centuries of experience.

    Can you seriously argue that your neo-Leninist levelling doesn't undermine the natural striving for excellence and innate comeraderie among those gifted with high IQs and intellectual curiousity?

    Why don't you go and try to sell crazy somewhere else where there might be buyers? Like in the Daily Worker -- or the Teachers Union monthly newsletter.