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Schools’ war on merit is a real threat to our kids’ futures

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In southern California, outside Los Angeles, Culver City School District officials are making headlines for an outrageous scheme in which they have eliminated honors classes from the curriculum at Culver City High School. That’s to the chagrin of many students and parents, understandably angry about advanced learners left behind in the name of “equity.” 

The Wall Street Journal reported, “To Increase Equity, School Districts Eliminate Honors Classes.” The subhead added, “Supporters say uniform classes create rigor for all students but critics say cuts hurt faster learners.” 

Documents I’ve obtained in the course of reporting my new book, “Woke Army,” reveal what we parents know: Culver City school board officials have been playing a long war on merit. Look no further than the “Equity, Social Justice & Inclusion Plan” discussed at a board meeting on Aug. 4, 2020, in the midst of America’s “racial reckoning,” and approved for its work from 2020-2023. 


Some of the highlights reveal the war on merit by the Woke Army’s self-described “equity warriors.” School district officials have been seeking “equitable education” not equal. Their plan included “Learning workshops on the concept of Critical Race Theory” for parents and “Professional Development on the concept of Critical Race Theory in the Classroom.” 

New Fairfax County, Va., superintendent Michelle Reid advocated for “equal outcomes” in a video, not equality.  (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Page 13 of the report has the zinger now making headlines: “Grade Span/Level colleague examining equity: re Grading, AP, Honors Courses.” 

School district officials didn’t hide the ideology behind their work, citing the book, “Critical Race Theory in Teacher Education,” as a reference. Excellence is mentioned only once, citing a book, “Excellence through Equity.” School district officials also used the work of an equity warrior in the Woke Army, California-based consultant Glenn Singleton and his dubious training, titled, “Courageous Conversations.” 

The elimination of honors classes at Culver City High School in the Culver City Unified School District is emblematic of a wider trend in which “equity” is being used as an excuse to take away opportunities from advanced learners and high achievers to cover up the miserable failures of public-school officials who have not been able to close the achievement gaps between Black and Hispanic students with Asian and white students. It’s leading to new racism. 

The word “merit” is never mentioned in the document. 

From California to Virginia, we are seeing a war on merit. A Woke Army of self-described “equity warriors” is waging a war on merit on America’s kids and in America’s classrooms, because one of their goals is to dumb down America. A young generation generated unable to read, write and do arithmetic at grade levels makes for a malleable audience for indoctrination. 

I saw this reporting my book, in my journey becoming an accidental activist when “equity warriors” went after my son’s high school, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, in Alexandria, Va., eliminating the merit-based admissions test and replacing it with new system that a federal judge ruled is unconstitutional. Then this fall, we discovered they withheld National Merit awards. 

It’s not just a war on merit. It’s a war on kids and the future of America. 


In the 1950s and 1960s, communists in China targeted intellectuals for murder and labor camps during the violent Cultural Revolution of China’s past, and, in the same way, social justice warriors in America’s Woke Army have kids in honors classes in their crosshairs. 

The Wall Street Journal reported, “To Increase Equity, School Districts Eliminate Honors Classes.” The subhead added, “Supporters say uniform classes create rigor for all students but critics say cuts hurt faster learners.” 

They have a simple mantra: “equal outcomes for every student without exception,” as an equity consultant declared in Fairfax County, Va., as did the new superintendent, Michelle Reid in a video. The consultant, founder of Performance Facts Inc., even told Princeton, N.J., school district officials in a recorded video, that they must be “purposefully unequal” in their work. 


In a Feb. 8, 2023, announcement, the Fairfax County, Va., school district just rebranded its equity battle plan with a word salad, claiming on a new webpage that it wants “Excellence, Equity and Opportunity.” That’s just word salad. 

We know their objective is the dumbing down of America, and we must stop their incursions into the minds of America’s kids. 

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