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HomeOpinionOpinion: A Nation at War: Equity vs. Merit in Public Education

Opinion: A Nation at War: Equity vs. Merit in Public Education



By: Stephanie Lundquist-Arora, Opinion Contributor

Parents are waking up to find that we’re in the middle of a war of equity versus merit within our nation’s borders. Left-wing radicals have usurped public education, especially school boards, with the goal of indoctrinating our children.

Real skills like tying shoes, writing cursive, typing, and balancing checkbooks have been replaced with exploratory lessons on the importance of demographic identity and intrusive surveys. Teachers follow inappropriate lesson plans and tell white children that they are the oppressors and their black classmates, that they are the oppressed.

Meanwhile, standardized test scores plummet and flags with political messages line classrooms, even in elementary schools.

The objectives of public education have regressed over time from academic achievement to “equal outcomes,” bringing down all boats.

The awards scandal in Fairfax County, Virginia, is just another symptom of the equity cancer plaguing our country. In order to avoid hurting the feelings of the students who didn’t earn prestigious Commended Student Awards in the National Merit Scholarship Program, eight high schools in Fairfax County failed to notify students of their achievement.

This gross negligence will likely cost the recipients scholarships and admissions to colleges, prompting an investigation from Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares.

Sadly, this recent scandal is merely the tip of the iceberg for equity activism.

Across the nation, school districts have eliminated advanced math and implemented “equity grading” systems in order to ensure equal outcomes, to the great detriment of quality education.

Illinois parents were disappointed to learn that administrators at Oak Park and River Forest High School implemented an equity grading system for the 2022-2023 academic school year. In order to increase GPAs, students under this system start their assignments with half-credit and effectively have no due dates.

Ideological proponents of the “equal outcomes” approach to education erect smokescreens. They gaslight critics and claim there’s nothing to see behind the brick and mortar. They deny the integration of critical race theory in the curriculum. They tell us books like Gender Queer are appropriate reads for middle-schoolers.

For them, withholding prestigious awards is accidental or otherwise just fine. That’s because they don’t want conscientious objectors to pursue merit and academic excellence in public education – to fight against them for the future of our nation.

In an interview on January 21, 2023, Virginia Lt. Governor Winsome Sears summarizes it best when she says,

“They’re playing chess. And apparently, we’ve been playing checkers, but no more.”

Stephanie Lundquist-Arora is a mother in Fairfax County, Virginia, an author, and a member of the Independent Women’s Network.


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