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Maryland adopts diversity redistricting; buses kids to far-off schools to ‘balance socioeconomic inequities’

WBAL
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The residents of one Maryland community are learning the hard way that voting for Democrat or Democrat-aligned policymakers invariably leads to disastrous results.

On Thursday, school officials in Howard County approved a controversial measure designed to “balance the socioeconomic inequities within the county,” as put by one local in a statement to The Washington Post.

How exactly do the county’s left-wing officials intend to “balance the socioeconomic inequities within the county?” By forcing nearly 6,000 local students to hop on a bus every weekday morning and travel to a school nowhere near their homes.

“The fast-growing school district is looking to equalize the percentage of students affected by poverty — a percentage that currently varies widely from school to school,” Washington, D.C. station WAMU reported. “To address the issue, Superintendent Michael Martirano crafted the redistricting plan to address overcrowding and equity among the county’s different demographic groups.”

In an interview with The Baltimore Sun conducted after this week’s controversial vote, Martirano seemed to suggest that the plan didn’t go far enough.

Listen:


(Source: The Baltimore Sun)

“As I come out today, the day after the adoption, not even 24 hours after it, I feel strong in the board-approved plan … maybe not the numbers we wanted to achieve, but we can all endorse it because many hands have made that better, many voices have made that better,” he said.

It’s not clear how many students’ lives he’d hoped to disrupt. What’s known is that his plan essentially centers on forcing some students from well-off schools to attend worse-off schools, and some students from worse-off schools to attend well-off schools.

Speaking with WAMU, parents and students alike expressed differing opinions about the plan, with some complaining that it’ll disrupt their community life and increase their time in transit, and others praising the plan for its promotion of “diversity.”

“The reason we oppose this is because we are a community based school,” parent Xueying Ni said. “We’re all tied to this school, there is no connection to outside neighbors. All of our daily routines are here.”

“It’s going to increase my commute severely,” local high school student Vedant Patel added. “I’m already having to go around half an hour each day going to school and now it’s going to be at least an hour.”

However, local student Tudhjot Jandu pushed back, saying she supports the plan because it’ll increase “diversity.”

During a recent Howard County School Board meeting packed with angry students and parents, Jandu and her sister, Japsimrankaur Jandu, reportedly stood alone “with the only sign in the room saying ‘Vote for Diversity,'” according to WAMU.

“I wish I had been exposed to that diversity as a high school student,” Japsimrankaur, a Howard County Public School graduate, said. “It helps us all grow as individuals and it helps us all grow as a community.”

But speaking with the Post, one student argued that the county’s schools already possess plenty of diversity.

“We hear that the reasons [for this plan] are to increase diversity and have families with different amounts of money, but our school already has that,” the student said.

See news footage below of one of many anti-redistricting protests that have rocked the county in recent weeks:


(Source: WBAL)

As justification for Martirano’s plan, Howard County school board Mavis Ellis has reportedly cited a report “which found that between 2017 and 2019, students from every demographic and those with free and reduced meals [FARMs] and those without FARMs saw a decline in SAT scores,” according to WAMU.

It’s not clear whether she’s aware that there was one exception to the results: Asians.

What’s known is that those who subscribe to the left’s line of thinking on race relations, identity politics and so-called “equity” tend to argue that America and its institutions are inherently racist against minorities.

But in defending this dubious stance, they invariably choose to only contrast whites and blacks or whites and Hispanics. Rarely do they contrast whites and Asians. Why?

Some have speculated it’s because Asians never seem to suffer from the same ailments that plague other communities, i.e., poverty, low graduation rates, high crime rates, etc. And pointing this out would clearly destroy their narrative.

Take a report about school discipline published last year from the Government Accountability Office. Because the report showed that black students are disciplined at higher rates than white students, the left rushed to argue that school discipline is racist. But not included in their reports were the facts concerning Asian students.

“The New York Times ignored some of the GAO report’s other findings, presumably because they don’t fit the narrative,” National Review noted at the time. “It’s not just African-American students who can point to disparate impact. White students are disciplined more often than Asian-American students, yet no one is claiming this is the result of anti-white discrimination.”

The report even found gender-related differences.

“Then there are sex differences,” NRO noted. “The report found that boys get disciplined much more than girls, but hardly anyone is foolish enough to believe that this long-standing disparity is best explained as sex discrimination.”

It likewise seems the assertion that poor academic performance in some Howard County schools is the fault of “socioeconomic inequities” is also “foolish” — one that many locals clearly feel should never have been used to justify Martirano’s widely-panned plan.

Vivek Saxena

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