CA high school removes honors English classes for racial equity, following higher ed trend

The Culver City Unified School District replaces honors classes with a uniform curriculum to 'ensure students of all races receive an equal, rigorous education' as part of its Equity, Social Justice and Inclusion plan.

Parents are concerned that 'equity is defined in terms of achieving equal outcomes seemingly at all costs.'

The Culver City Unified School District (CCUSD) in California is citing racial equity as the reason for removing honors English classes for high school students, disadvantaging students hoping to compete for top universities.

This is part of a national pattern of K-12 school districts decreasing the potential higher education opportunities for students in order to advance a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) agenda.

The Education Trust, an equity-focused think tank, claims that minority students “experience inequitable access to advanced coursework.”

[RELATED: SUNY to require DEI and social justice courses in fall 2023]

CCUSD English teachers presented data to the school board earlier this month showing that Latino and Black students were underrepresented in honors and AP English classes, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Replacing honors classes with a one-size-fits-all curriculum is intended to “ensure students of all races receive an equal, rigorous education,” The Wall Street Journal reports school officials as saying.

Some CCUSD parents, however, do not see this as an opportunity to enrich their children.

One mother told Fox News, “My daughter, who is a sophomore has said that it’s not working … She’s now getting like an A+++ in her English class ... [and] the class is kind of a joke.”

Pedro Frigola, a concerned father from CCUSD, told “Fox and Friends” that “right away [he] was troubled” by the district’s “Equity, Social Justice, and Inclusion Plan,” which justified the removal of honors English.

The CCUSD Equity Advisory Committee explains that “equity is [the district’s] moral obligation,” according to the PowerPoint document.

“We are working to cultivate a liberated learning environment that is free of bias,” the plan reads. Concrete objectives of the plan include increasing concepts of gender equity, LGBTQ+ issues, and critical race theory in classrooms.

“Examining equity” regarding “access to AP/Honors Courses” is also listed as a specific goal of the plan.

[RELATED: PROF. JENKINS: Equity is Marxism re-branded]

Removing access to honors classes, however, could potentially make it difficult for high-performing students to compete for college admissions with students from districts that continue to offer advanced classes.

A similar situation occurred last month when Virginia school districts came under sharp criticism for using equity as an excuse not to inform students of their national merit scholarship eligibility.

Whether in academia or in secondary schools, Campus Reform Higher Education Fellow Rob Jenkins warns that equity “cannot tolerate” or coexist with merit because merit “exposes equity for the sham that it is. Anything that smacks of merit—that suggests one student might actually be superior to another—must be eliminated.”

When discussing the CCUSD’s equity plan, Frigola explained his view that the most troubling part of the scenario is that “equity is defined in terms of achieving equal outcomes seemingly at all costs.”

Campus Reform has contacted CCUSD for comment and will update the story accordingly.

Follow Gabrielle M. Etzel on Twitter.