Min Li, West Windsor
As the Constitution of United States of America has laid the bedrock for the United States to become the greatest democratic country in the world, unlimited investment and encouragement in science and technology talents has gained the United States unpeerable competitive advantage over any other countries and substantially changed our daily lives.
President Barack Obama has always been an advocate for STEM. His Educate to Innovate campaign has resulted in over $1 billion in financial and in-kind support for STEM programs. One of his campaign goals is to inspire a more diverse STEM talent pool and set the standard with exceptional role models. Math is the core of STEM, the fundamental of the fundamentals.
The school administration in the West Windsor-Plainsboro district is acting in a completely opposite direction by chopping off fourth and fifth grade A&E math program on questionable statistics and conscious bias on gender and racial.
I have to ask our dear superintendent and his comrades: Is it possible that students who complain more about stress are likely to participate in your survey on stress level? Are they stressed out only because of A & E program, or in general, any other subject? Can you prove the causal connection? Can their family dynamics or social skills contribute to their high level of stress? Are they more inclined than others to feel stressed in all aspects of life?
America is built upon freedom of choices and value of its individuals. Why can’t a few talented students in math be acculturated into mainstream society which advocates diversity and inclusion? The concept of “whole child” that our superintendent insists on promoting is also arguable itself.
When President Johnson waged the war on poverty and embarked on the Head Start program, he meant to bring disadvantaged kids up to speed, without compromising education opportunities for those fortunately already upper in the ladder. What our superintendent and his allies intend to do is quite the opposite. Top performers will be pulled down to average out the whole student body to assure “some” students can have less stressful school life.
This illusion of “easy life” actually deprives their critical learning opportunities to become a psychologically sound Whole Child who can face more serious challenges in much more complex adulthood in this chaotic new century.
This downward slippage to the overall public school quality in our community which stands out due to generations of traditions in academic excellence can be a tip of an iceberg and may lead to a debacle in the future for the nation to lose the top stance in STEM in the world.
Cultivating the “whole child” shouldn’t mean to suppress those talented, while sympathizing only on those falling behind. Instead, more focus should be done to invest on extra academic and psychological help for those falling behind instead of depriving talented kids the rights for reaching higher. As the greatest nation on earth, the United States never puts a cap on exerting individual potentials. Instead, it has drawn millions of STEM talents from all over the world to sustain the workforce, in the meanwhile, employed armies of high tech workers overseas because of shortage of talents in STEM at home.
As a loyal taxpayer of WW-P for over 10 years and a mom of a 5 year old, I’m here to fight to build our school district to stay at the top in New Jersey and in the nation for my daughter and for thousands of kids like her.
Min Li, West Windsor