A popular gifted-student program at a New York City elementary school is getting the ax after school officials decided it lacked diversity.
PS 139 Principal Mary McDonald told parents in a letter Jan. 24 that Students of Academic Rigor, or SOAR, would no longer accept applications for incoming kindergartners, the New York Daily News reported.
“Our Kindergarten classes will be heterogeneously grouped to reflect the diversity of our student body and the community we live in,” Miss McDonald said in the letter posted on Flickr.com.
Let me see if I have this right. We have a popular program, presumably serving a need, that is being discontinued solely because of the students’ skin color.
How is that not blatant racism?
In a follow-up letter sent to parents Monday, Miss McDonald wrote: “At PS 193, we believe that all children can learn and achieve high standards. We also know that we want all children at PS 193 to have equal access to high quality, challenging curriculum, and to have ample opportunities to master complex material and build academic and personal self-confidence. We also want our classes to reflect the diversity of our community. We believe we can have both: classrooms characterized by rigor and diversity.”