Shoot a fellow student, get a day of detention

The road to ‘fairness’ is paved with apathy and mediocrity, and often ends in irrationality.

President Barack Obama’s latest executive order has now taken affirmative action from the questionable to the absurd. He calls for equal school discipline to be administered to each student no matter what the infraction. Apparently, whether a student speaks out in class or brings a firearm to school, the punishment will be the same.

According to Hans Belder, an attorney at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, “What this means is that whites and Asians will get suspended for things that blacks don’t get suspended for.”

Obama’s executive order, signed July 26, 2012, and titled “White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans,” is the president’s latest effort to achieve equal results among the races. One of the order’s opening sentences reads in part, “African Americans lack equal access to highly effective teachers and principals, safe schools, and challenging college-preparatory classes, and they disproportionately experience school discipline.” Let’s take a closer look at these assertions.

African Americans lack equal access to highly effective teachers. Whose fault is this? One of President Obama’s first acts upon assuming office was to discontinue the Washington, D.C., school voucher program. Just like inner-city Detroit, Washington is predominately black, and is one of the most crime-ridden cities in the country. Its school voucher program was the single, best opportunity for those students who wanted to succeed to be able to succeed. It wasn’t until Mitt Romney announced his support for the program that the president reversed his position.

College-preparatory classes: In addition to the fact that school voucher programs were implemented to address this problem, over the last half-century, college education has been overly emphasized. America is just now waking up to the fact that college isn’t for everyone, and that we have a bloated inventory of liberal arts graduates and a dearth of technically trained people in the workforce. In a world controlled by electronic and mechanical gadgetry, people who can maintain those gadgets are king.

They disproportionately experience school discipline: I, of course, wasn’t there when said discipline was meted out to black students, but then again, neither was the president. We have no idea whether the school punishment fit the infraction in each and every case. Given the fact that we’re all human and subject to error, I would guess it wasn’t. But that would apply to all students, regardless of race.

As ludicrous as the order is, it makes perfect sense if stepping into the president’s shoes. If the financially successful should be financially punished for their success, it follows that the scholastically successful should be punished for theirs.

Instead of directing young minds how to think, they’re taught how to pass standardized tests. When our goal is equal results rather than equal opportunity, we end up equally mediocre. If everyone gets the same grade, ambition is robbed and effort becomes passé’. If we’re handed the same punishment no matter what the infraction, no one learns self-control.

Indeed, mediocrity has already invaded the highest echelons of government. When announcing this executive order on Facebook, the White House misspelled the word “Americans” and posted the following: “Earlier today, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Amerericans.”

Of course, Facebook isn’t exactly The National Review, just as saying that it came from the White House isn’t saying the president wrote it. But the misspelling nonetheless indicates where we’re heading as a society. It screams that we no longer give a damn, and our current world standing of 14th in education will soon be fondly remembered as our glory days.

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