I attended the Sept. 16 Mankato Area Public Schools Equity Summit via their Zoom option. What I clearly heard from Supt. Dr. Paul Peterson was a full throttle pursuit of equal outcomes, not equal opportunity for the students within the 17 schools of the district.

In the post school world, our students will face a society based on equal opportunity. Individuals, given an opportunity, will produce different outcomes. This is because some may excel in creativity, physical ability, intelligence, work ethic or any combination of value adding attributes.

The free market rewards those who bring value. Highly competent plumbers, surgeons, athletes or entertainers make more than those less skilled or committed ones. It's a system that produces and rewards competence.

Equity as applied by our school district is focused more on instilling an individual's value based on race or identity. The district will use this concept of equity in allocating resources of both staff time and funding to students based on primary metrics of race and identity. Individual student merit or competence will be a secondary metric that will certainly be sacrificed to produce the goal of equal outcomes.

You can't achieve equality of outcome without controls to make that happen. A non-biased assessment tool producing a bell shaped curve of top, middle, and lower performers must be set aside.

Unlike the educational pursuit of equal opportunity based on individual effort, equal outcome in education sets priority by race and identity. This will further erode the quality of public education and produce disillusioned graduates ill prepared to compete in an ever more competitive world marketplace.

Misguided good intentions by the district will produce unintended results.

Peter Pytlak

North Mankato

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