Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Seeing ‘Unfettered Social Darwinism’ in Our Future

October 02, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Thomas Sobol is right that the No Child Left Behind Act is used as a distraction from confronting educational issues with direct implications for the nation’s future (“Beyond No Child Left Behind,” Commentary, Sept. 20, 2006). But Mr. Sobol is wrong if he believes that these issues would be addressed if the federal law were to suddenly vanish at reauthorization time.

Since the 1966 Coleman Report, we’ve known about the limitations that school quality has on the difference in average achievement between black and white students. Yet in the four decades following its publication, we’ve continued to persist in the comforting delusion that schools alone can narrow the gap. It’s hard to understand, therefore, why Mr. Sobol believes that “beyond No Child Left Behind” we would have the will to adopt social and economic policies with the potential to create equal educational opportunity for all.

On the contrary, in the face of the threat posed by the global economy of the future, the likelihood is that education will increasingly focus on those students deemed most potentially useful to society. These will be the elite students whose entire lives have prepared them to quickly move into positions of power and influence. It will be the ideal environment for unfettered social Darwinism.

Walt Gardner

Los Angeles, Calif.

A version of this article appeared in the October 04, 2006 edition of Education Week as Seeing ‘Unfettered Social Darwinism’ in Our Future

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attend to the Whole Child: Non-Academic Factors within MTSS
Learn strategies for proactively identifying and addressing non-academic barriers to student success within an MTSS framework.
Content provided by Renaissance
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum How to Teach Digital & Media Literacy in the Age of AI
Join this free event to dig into crucial questions about how to help students build a foundation of digital literacy.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: June 19, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: June 12, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 29, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 8, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read