The New York City public school system never ceases to amaze. For years, the NYC public school system was known for high educational standards. Sadly, the past few years have been unkind to the reputation of the NYC public school system. 

The public school unions have throttled any attempts to raise the education standards and have resisted any attempts to hold teachers accountable. Today, teachers know there are no consequences for any aberrant behavior of teachers or students. 

Recently, a teacher at PS 261, a public elementary school in Brooklyn, posted a map of the Middle East in her classroom. The map did NOT include the State of Israel. The class was hosting a program on “Arab Culture Arts” and interestingly, it was funded by the American wing of the Qatar Foundation. 

One newspaper emailed the New York City Department of Education to ask if the map was still in use. A spokesperson responded: “Why would it not be?”

When you wonder why so many young people dislike Jewish people and the State of Israel, remember that a majority of educators are leftist Democrats who overwhelmingly dislike Jewish people.

The “mainstream media” is happy to rant about how the “right wing media” is using misinformation to indoctrinate the unsuspecting public. One would search in vain to find a CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN or MSNBC report on how antisemitism is being taught in our public schools in blue states. One has to go to smaller online news outlets to find out that pro-Palestinian lessons are being taught in NYC schools. These lessons are being financed by the government of Qatar. Imagine the uproar of the above-mentioned media outlets of Russian financed lessons on the Ukraine conflict being taught in public schools.

One bright spot in the New York City school system is the success of charter schools. Across the public school landscape there is a concerted effort to eliminate Advanced Placement (AP) classes and exams. The Democrats are led by Randi Weingarten, the head of the American Federation of Teachers union. These union (Democrat) leaders tell us that AP classes discriminate against minority students. Weingarten and the unions argue that minority students cannot compete with white students on a level playing field. 

Success Academy in NYC exposes that claim as false. The student body at Success is overwhelmingly black and Latino. This year Success Academy had 1317 students taking AP exams. US News and World Report noted that 100% of the seniors at Success Academy passed at least one AP exam during their 4 years of high school. 

Kudos to Success Academy for refusing to believe Democrats who claim that minority students don’t have the capacity to compete with white students. The leadership of Success Academy understands that the key to success for minority students is not to lower the bar but rather to raise the bar. For too long, minority students in America have been victims of the discrimination of lower expectations.

Bob Spencer
Manatee Herald

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