The whole idea of Advance Placement classes at the secondary level is that those who have the greater ability and background will benefit from such course work. This is not so much as a matter of IQ but one of background education. If a child or teenager has read more books and magazine articles in history then that individual is ready for an advanced class in history that requires that previous knowledge. The funny thing about knowledge is that one builds upon the acquired base of knowledge in order to learn more. This has nothing to do with representation by color, race (really an outdated word for there really is no such thing as race, per se), nationality, sex, and any other characterization one employs to segregate individuals into arbitrary groupings.
Now if I, as a secondary school administrator or teacher wished to create a class in English History I would be obliged to start from the very beginnings of the history of England. I would need to assume that you as the student knew almost nothing of the history of England. I would need to give you a very broad and generalized overview of the subject. You would learn that the Romans had briefly inhabited and ruled some of that country and then gone back to Italy. I would have to say a few words about the Picts in what is now known as Scotland and introduce the subject of the Irish settlements in Scotland and in southern England. But you would not be required to study in depth these matters. The settlements by the Danes, the Norse, and then William the Conqueror would be covered in brief. We might touch on the English civil wars, of which there were several and the Calvinist succession by Cromwell and then the restoration of the Monarchy. Indeed, there are a thousand years of history to cover and it would be a most rudimentary education. And you, as a secondary school student would not have the opportunity to read ten books on English History, let alone several hundred if one wished to become proficient in nine months time.
On the other hand, should you have read, let us say for the sake of argument, three or four books on English History, then I should be able to offer an advanced class that takes advantage of that stock of knowledge and go more deeply into the subject. If the students in such a class are all white does that mean that blacks are de facto discriminated against? If they hadn’t done their own reading it wasn’t due to the color of their collective skins. One might argue that as a group they had not to access to such books but the public library and the public school libraries are full of such volumes. The real reason is the lack of curiosity and desire. One either reads the books necessary to become familiar and somewhat competent in teh subject at hand or one does not read.
Now enter the Justice department with their descriptive statistics, note the lack of statistical analysis by use of multivariate statistical analysis, the use of averages. If the average AP class is filled by whites and asians then that is what the average tells us. It does not say why. It cannot be used as conclusive proof that blacks and hispanics have been excluded due to segregation. But what is the remedy that the justice department wants? Each AP class should have in it a representative number of students by race or color or sex. But if those who are in the category of black or hispanic do not have the requisite knowledge how will they benefit if they are put into a situation where they are doomed to failure? Well, perhaps the class should be dumb down academically. Gosh, isn’t that what we have done with our colleges and universities? Most of the prospective students arrive at these institutions of higher learning unprepared for course work at that level. Hence we see remedial classes in English composition and mathematics. We see the general survey classes in sciences that must be taken before one is allowed to take the first level of academic study.
So perhaps what we should do so that all those students we have grouped into minority status don’t feel discriminated against is to eliminate the AP classes. Makes perfect sense. No discrimination and no failure. And perhaps we should make it illegal for any child to read any book that is beyond the experience of any minority child. If you are sixteen and wish to read Churchill’s four volume set on English History, then that should be illegal. You may not have access to those volumes. How dare you educate yourself beyond the general education of the minority student. The Justice Department needs to extinguish your desire to learn and educate yourself. Perhaps we might do a better job of educating our children if we took back our school systems from the Federal and state governments. Kick out all members of the NEA and any other pretentious idiots.