Florida Adopts Different Standards For Students Based On Race

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.

What do you think?

Source: USA Today

43 thoughts on “Florida Adopts Different Standards For Students Based On Race”

  1. HELL It is worse in Texas. WE now rank at the bottom of most stats, and I am sure that this will come here as soon as our Guv for life Perry hears about it. He won’t read about it since he does very little of that and probably wouldn’t understand what he read in any case.

  2. Unequal expectations = unequal teaching. It’s a discriminatory policy and needs to be struck down.

  3. @AY – Bullshit’s more like it. Question to all – Would this have happened in a politically conservative state?

  4. What, no specific math minimum requirement for Jews? I hear those people are really sharp when it comes to numbers, and such… Oy vey!

    @Feemeister – Sorry, all Florida cracks accepted – Stupid is as stupid does, and if you and other Floridians accepted this crap willingly, you deserved what you got.

  5. Good to see you Seamus…..

    On the topic….. This is bullcrap…… Already enough racial divide….

  6. THis is exactly akin to saying Black and Hispanic persons are inately dumb and incabable of having better scores. What a racist policy. Plus, it forces Asian students to work harder just to make the bar that is higher than anyone else. They might be forced to spend two extra hours studying while another race can just take it easy.

    There will never be harmony amoung people in this country when policies such as this are enacted. Heck, why stop there. Make hazel eyed persons in the role of the Asians here and blue eyed persons in the role of Hispanics. Create animosity based upon eye color. Sound absurd? yes it is and why? because almost nobody in this country discriminates based upon eye color because it is not something that is taught or socialized in our country. If everyone was taught and socialized into believing race was no different than eye color, eventually it will be no different than eye color. But policies such as this school’s perpetuate the believe that races are different and people must be categoriezed by race not by ability.

  7. A friend of mine taught 3rd grade. She was glad to retire. Biggest problem was lack of parental involvement.

  8. I would have expected to read a story like this in The Onion. Chris Rock does a rant about black students underachieving. Rock was raised in a disciplined, two parent household and was bussed to an all white school in NYC. His rant is, “You want to know why there’s black educational underachievement? It’s pretty simple, if you live in the ‘hood and want to hide your money from burglars just put it in a book. Ain’t no brother goin’ to open a book.”

  9. The Hispanic and black communities (and yes, the white also) should be outraged and insulted by this dumbing down of standards. It’s absurd, and the unintentional consequences will be legion.

    That said, I think this whole approach to education is misguided. No matter what you do in this kind of approach you’re not going to serve all the students well. And that’s just compounded with the fed govt involved.

  10. Isn’t this just a codification of what already goes on? Florida may be officially throwing in the towel, but the lowering of expectations, especially for minorities, has been going on for decades. Until we stop subsidizing every 15 year-old (whether in the projects or the trailer park or the suburbs)who wants to start having kids, with WIC, Link (or whatever your state calls it), housing vouchers, free day car etc. our schools will be forever flooded with children who are totally incapable of achieving what are considered acceptable results. We just had a teachers strike here in Chicago. While I was unsympathetic to the teachers’ demands for a pay raise in an economy like this ( they worked the shortest hours of any major school district in the country), I did think their concern about result- based promotions had some merit. Spokesmen for the union raised the issue of a huge percentage of children in the system with zero support from their homes. The graduation rate in the Chicago schools is 50%. When you average in the graduation rates at the handful of decent schools, it is certain that there are high schools with graduation rates well below 50%. Overall Illinois graduation rate is better than Florida’s (29th in the country vs. 33rd (neither is great)). I suspect a lot of issues in the two states are the same. The poorest homes in our country all seem to have cable TV and an X-box. It would not seem that many of these homes have a lot of books lying around, or a parent who is even capable of understanding what it means to support their child’s education. Meanwhile, every truly middle class person I know (and no, if they or their parents were making $250,000 a year they are not middle class, as Romney claims) cannot afford to pay their educational loans, and a mortgage, and child care, and afford any more than one child. The Republicans and the plutocrats who run this country can be held to account for sending the majority of our manufacturing overseas (to an allegedly Marxist country, which allegedly thinks America and capitalism are evil). Their short-sighted greed has helped ruin this country. But the self-loathing white liberal guilt of the Democratic Party has helped deliver the second punch, the institutionalization of poverty. There is no longer any stigma assigned to the irresponsible and self-destructive behavior of the under-class. Democrats are afraid to even talk about it for fear of being labeled racist (or have Jessie Jackson threaten to cut one’s balls off for talking down to black people, if you yourself are black). The hair-pulling over rigging test scores is misplaced. Thanks to the true ruling class (not the liberal elites the wing-nuts complain about) there won’t be any jobs for these kids with their worthless high school diplomas anyway. And thanks in large part to the wimpy guilt-ridden left; the schools will be filled more and more with the socially retarded children of unprepared irresponsible teenaged mothers. Bogus grades? This is truly “deck chairs on the Titanic” material.

  11. “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.

    What do you think?”


    I can only respond that I totally agree with you. The inequality of education that is suffered by many people of color, or language, to me is directly attributed to the general dereliction on the part of government to provide adequate public school funding and the most competent of teachers. The application of “evidence based systems” to education as in the “No Child Left Behind” act is in my opinion a con game, used to cover up for the fact of inadequate school funding. In Brown v. Bd. of Ed., the aim of the plaintiffs was to ensure that “separate but equal” was overturned and provide Black children with equal educational opportunities. Although I believe integrated schools are a laudable goal, busing was an inadequate means of bringing about the Plaintiffs desired goals.

    The evil of separate, but equal, was that it wasn’t equal. Black schools were underfunded and teachers of black children were grossly underpaid. All busing did was increase the antipathy of working whites towards Black people. Busing, as implemented, never extended into the privileged school districts.

    In the Forty-Eight years since Brown v. Bd. of Ed. things have’t changed much. We have in our country “Rich” and “Poor” school districts. The inequality in Public Schooling is just about the same and the results garnered also are about the same. This Florida ruling is of a piece with how the Florida Legislature and Governor in Tallahassee operates. Public School teacher salaries in Florida are pitiful when compared to most areas outside of the South. Rather than deal with the problem, or with most problems involving the public good, Florida politicians provide inadequate
    solutions, masked as reformist. In this case the idea of differing standards based on race are cruel hoaxes, that will only make the disparities worse.

    The simple truth is that our country suffers from an “infection” that is inimical to our core beliefs as embodied in our evolving Constitution. The “infection” is the viral nature of the beliefs of a woman, who in life suffered from narcissistic behavior, which she attempted to “normalize” as a philosophy of greed. Ayn Rand infected many in our elite classes in the last 60 years by convincing them that sociopathy was a good standard to live by. This translated into moving conservative very far to the right when it came to the idea of any government program intended to promote the general public welfare. When it came to school systems there was a joining to the fundamentalist right wing, who want their parochial schools equally supported and to those who for reasons of racial prejudice wanted their children going to provide schools with government support. Hence we come to the twin bad ideas of school vouchers and privately run charter schools.

    I believe that a public school system is essential to both the educational and economic welfare of a modern industrialized nation. By all measure our country has fallen behind most modern industrial states. Well supported public education is not a political, or economic idea., It is a common sense need for any complex society.

  12. Little bit OT…

    A friend is head of maintenance at a CPS high school. It would be rated as a tough school. School has 1500 students. Five parents show up for Parents Night.

  13. As a School Principal, without hesitation I can say that institutionalizing low expectations is an awful idea. The reason for this “solution” is as a reaction to a poorly designed federal accountability system. We don’t remedy that with an equally bad, and I believe even worse, idea.

    School Quality has been slowly assumed into a federal responsibility. I don’t see the Constitutional justification for this, even though many have tried to make it fit.

    States are best able to fund and monitor school effectiveness, especially in an information age when voters who elect local and state leadership can see the level at which states are performing relative to other states and countries in educating children. The federal education dollars, which is a significant sum, should return to states for local control and local accountability.

    There are easy to understand and implement programs which will address the “achievement gap.” No amount of federal involvement will or can change that. It is remedied in each classroom and in each school by designing an academic program which requires each child to make better than one year of academic growth. This means that students are measured against their starting performance, not against an arbitrary standard.

    If schools, school districts and states establish this as the success criteria, it will be achieved and children from underrepresented ethnic groups will not need affirmative action to earn their way into college because over the course of thirteen years of K-12 education, they will be performing on par with children from Asian and white backgrounds. (The reason this can be mathematically is because all children eventually reach a top personal best of performance on standardized testing. There is not an infinite amount of growth a high performing student can make over the 13 years.)

  14. Nooooo.

    Set guidelines in certain schools or areas… Do it by class and income, not race. That is the biggest problem.

  15. Lawyers should thank the many educational officials around the country who supply lawyers with a useful number of cases.

  16. I think those deemed by the school to be in the “asian” community should sue for discrimination, so should those deemed to be in the “white” community. Even those deemed to be in the “black” or “hispanic” communities should sue for discrimination and being offered a lower quality of education based upon their race; on the grounds that reducing the threshold for their kids obviously lets the teachers stop teaching once they have reached the threshold, in order to devote more time to kids of other races the school has deemed inherently superior on the basis of race.

    Racist is racist.

  17. “…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…”

    Is this a typo, or are the English expectations for Hispanic students the same as for white students?

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