Re: “Judge us by our progress, not our ugly past,” Donna West, Aug. 6.

I was dismayed to read another alarmist commentary by Donna West.

West takes a narrow view of the role of equity in education. She claims to support a need-based approach to student resources, but decries equality of outcome or any consideration of racial equity as somehow harmful to our children.

This strikes me as logically inconsistent and even antithetical to the purpose of education. Isn’t the goal that every student learns the material? This is equality of outcome and does not harm children.

West says educational success requires “effort of the student.” Yet, effort alone is not determinative of academic achievement. She recognizes this when she lauds the economic need-based allocation of school resources.

What if we discover some disparity along racial lines? Again, the problem isn’t effort. There’s some need not being met. West’s solution is to ignore race. As if we can solve a problem of racial inequity by saying racial equity is bad and its pursuit is divisive.

An adequate solution is not obvious, but is what some school districts are trying to pursue by considering aspects of anti-racism and Critical Race Theory (CRT).

West demonizes these efforts. She makes an absurdly spurious argument that math track elimination seeks to solve the achievement gap by restricting achievement; she parrots a single source for three clickbait articles that actually don’t reveal the teaching of CRT in schools; and she offers a dystopian strawman of our education system in the form of “questions many have.” CRT questions why racial disparities still exist despite well-intentioned colorblind policies like West seems to favor. It suggests that racism is endemic to society and that this systemic racism can help us understand observed racial disparity in school and elsewhere. If we are aware of its presence, we can begin to counter its effect.

If considering race reveals an achievement or discipline gap at school, it is doubtful we can narrow that gap by teaching a selectively incomplete history, or by insisting we only address economic disparities. Refusing to look at the gap doesn’t make it go away. To borrow a phrase from West, this is harmful to our children.

Patrick Farley, Redlands