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Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: How do you really feel, Sen. Ebbin?

Editor’s Notebook: How do you really feel, Sen. Ebbin?

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That was quite the thrashing that state Sen. Adam Ebbin (my senator!) gave Del. Mark Levine (my delegate!) yesterday.

Without even mentioning Levine’s name, Ebbin threw Levine under the bus in endorsing Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, who is running (and hard) to unseat Levine in the Democratic primary on June 8.

And it was not pretty, as this linked story pointed out.

It’s not exactly a secret that Ebbin and Levine are not the best of buddies; the animosity has been there for years. Apparently Ebbin feels now’s a good time to try and help Bennett-Parker past the finish line in the primary.


We’ll see: Certainly Bennett-Parker (the vice mayor of Alexandria) has cash and connections, but there is something to be said for a candidate whose first name is “Re-Elect,” as presumably Levine’s campaign signs and literature will say. (Haven’t seen any of his signage on the byways of the 45th District, but maybe they are being obscured by the very bright orange being used by Arlington School Board candidate Mary Kadera in her own signage. Definitely the first time I’ve seen that particular color used.)

THE ALL-CHILD-LEFT-BEHIND APPROACH TO PUBLIC EDUCATION: One has to wonder, at this point, if state leaders are purposely trying to push as many parents to abandon public schools as humanly possible.

Latest example: The Virginia Department of Education is starting to mull getting rid of “advanced” diplomas, apparently because it makes kids who only earn “regular” diplomas feel sad.

Really, that’s about all it boils down to. “Equity,” you know. The buzzword of the latest (and, if we are not careful, potentially last) American generation.

Lordy, lordy, lordy.

One would have thought the efforts of state school leaders would be focused on promoting achievement, and getting all children the tools to reach their highest potential by pushing them to stretch their minds. But this is public education, after all, so that’s probably the last thing on their minds.

And it is not like students in minority groups are not earning the advanced degrees. Good numbers of them are. More of them could and would, if school leaders would only get off their behinds and apply some elbow grease to an educational system that was broken long before the pandemic, and is bordering on unfixable at this point.

Not only is this proposal bad from an educational-policy standpoint, it’s remarkably stupid, stupid, stupid politics for Democrats. Virginia Republicans aren’t always the brightest bulbs in the political chandelier, but they know how to exploit proposals like this, and already are working on doing so.

But beyond the politics, the broader question lingers. Why do Democrats in general, and appointees of Gov. Northam in particular, seem to despise achievement, would rather drag students down to the depths rather than lift them up to the heights?

One would hope “equity” could equate to excellence for all. But, sadly, it is now code for “lowest common denominator.”

At least for kids in the public schools, that is.

  • Scott McCaffrey
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