Merit means that an individual has earned acclaim or credit. In education, merit comes in the form of grades and awards, and it often gives students opportunities to participate in gifted and talented programs.
Students who demonstrate high achievement capability in an intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity often take honors or Advanced Placement courses and participate in extracurricular activities to further develop their skills and bolster their college applications.
Activists who subscribe to critical race theory and “antiracism” often claim that such programs advance white supremacy. These activists believe that, in order to achieve “equity,” participation in these programs should be based on race, sex, or other innate, personal characteristics—not achievement. In recent years, some high schools for high-performing students have gone so far as to eliminate merit-based admissions tests and adopt racial quotas for incoming classes of students.
Under the guise of “equity,” activists have tried to block the route that generations of Americans of all races have used to advance themselves and their families.
Gifted and talented programs are, indeed, for all gifted students, irrespective of skin color or ethnicity. Eliminating advanced courses or merit-based admissions closes doors for kids seeking entrance and scholarships to college, and disincentivizes hard work and academic achievement.
The War on Merit, Parents Defending Education