Saturday, January 19, 2013

Florida Adopts Different Standards For Students Based On Race

It seems that Florida teachers should get a cut in pay along with their new achievement goals for kids. As a teacher, I knew how easy it was to improve scores of average and high-performing kids. I knew my real achievement was bringing the kids who were behind up to grade level and above grade level. Kids in middle class families tend to get more intellectual stimulation outside the classroom, including verbal interactions with parents.

Florida is pretty much telling teachers to worry only about Asian, white and Hispanic students, and forget about black students.

Florida has not only given up on equal achievement for all races, it has also given teachers permission to pretty much ignore black students altogether. They not only have lower goals for black students, but they also say that fewer black students need to meet those lower goals!

Florida Adopts Different Standards For Students Based On Race
October 15, 2012

As the Court considers the future of affirmative action in higher education, the Florida State Board of Education is moving to create different grading in schools on the elementary and secondary levels in terms of the levels of proficiency expected for students based on their race.

The plan would set different goals for students in math and reading based upon their race. The plan would expect schools to show that Asian students meet 90 percent to be performing at or above grade level in English and white students would have to meet 88 percent of the goals. However, Hispanics would be expected to meet only 88 percent while black students would be expected to meet just 74 percent of black students.

In math, the schools would need to reach 92 percent of Asian kids to be proficient and 86 percent for white students. Hispanics would be expected to be at 80 percent while blacks would be expected to be at 74 percent.

By lowering the percentages for hispanic and black students, the school officials hope to satisfy federal and state guidelines. However, it also institutionalizes the lower scores for minority groups. It also raises the danger that teachers might push harder with white and asian students to achieve higher levels of performance after achieving lower levels for hispanic and black students. I understand the frustration with these state and federal goals. I also understand the differentials found in the baseline for different communities. However, in my view it is still a mistake. I have long argued for a greater investment in our public school system with additional teachers and better pay for teachers. My wife and I are committed to public schools and send our kids to public schools. We believe strongly in the key role that public schools play not only in socializing children but in society as a whole in having a common educational experience...

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