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Florida Might As Well Say Separate But Equal Is Legal


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http://tampa.cbsloca...academic-goals/

Palm Beach, Fla. (CBS TAMPA) – The Florida State Board of Education passed a plan that sets goals for studentsicon1.png in math and reading based upon their race.

On Tuesday, the board passed a revised strategic plan that says that by 2018, it wants 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white students, 81 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of black students to be reading at or above grade level. For math, the goals are 92 percent of Asian kids to be proficient, whites at 86 percent, Hispanics at 80 percent and blacks at 74 percent. It also measures by other groupings, such as poverty and disabilities, reported the Palm Beach Post.

The plan has infuriated many community activists in Palm Beach County and across the state.

“To expect less from one demographic and more from another is just a little off-base,” Juan Lopez, magnet coordinator at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Riviera Beach, told the Palm Beach Post.

JFK Middle has a black student population of about 88 percent.

“Our kids, although they come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, they still have the ability to learn” Lopez said. “To dumb down the expectations for one group, that seems a little unfair.”

Others in the community agreed with Lopez’s assessment. But the Florida Department of Education said the goals recognize that not every group is starting from the same point and are meant to be ambitious but realistic.

As an example, the percentage of white students scoring at or above grade level (as measured by whether they scored a 3 or higher on the reading FCAT) was 69 percent in 2011-2012, according to the state. For black students, it was 38 percent, and for Hispanics, it was 53 percent.

In addition, State Board of Education Chairwoman Kathleen Shanahan said that setting goals for different subgroups was needed to comply with terms of a waiver that Florida and 32 other states have from some provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. These waivers were used to make the states independent from some federal regulations.

“We have set a very high goal for all students to reach in Florida,” Shanahan said.

But Palm Beach County School Board vice-chairwoman Debra Robinson isn’t buying the rationale.

“I’m somewhere between complete and utter disgust and anger and disappointment with humanity,” Robinson told the Post. She said she has been receiving complaints from upset black and Hispanic parents since the state board took its action this week.

Robinson called the state board’s actions essentially “proclaiming racism” and said she wants Palm Beach County to continue to educate every child with the same expectations, regardless of race.

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Disagree with the title of this thread: It's separate but certainly not equal.

Who gains from this stupidity? Are teachers rewarded based upon these reading/math achievement levels? Is the administration rewarded when they meet these lower expectations/standards? Does this make the black and hispanic communities feel better because their kids have met this standard?

This seems to defy logic: when I'm looking to hire someone with a particular set of skills, I would never 'dumb down' the skill set requirements based upon race, sex or socio-economic background, because I'd never hire anyone who lacked the necessary talent to do the job. I'm pretty sure it would be illegal to discriminate in such a way, so why does anyone think that this proposal is OK?

In the end, the kids lose here because sooner or later they will need to find a role in the workforce, where the 'everyone gets a trophy because they tried' mentality does not exist.

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This is embarrassing. Dumbing down our students. Where is the Black community on this? They should be demanding HEADS that anyone would even suggest lowering expectations, although its been the norm since the early 60's. Obama should be calling this out instead of COMMENTING on this cra. "By Courtney Hazlett, TODAY

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I don't see the racism. Their goal is to close the gap we currently see in standardized testing between races. Right now, 69% of whites, 53% of hispanics, and 38% of blacks are testing at or above grade level. They want to see improvement across the board, but focus on more improvement for the races that are struggling with the standardized tests today. They want to see an improvement from 38% of blacks to 74%, almost doubling the percentage of black people in the state testing at or above their grade level.

If they said 85% across the board, would that be racist because they are setting unrealistic goals for minority communities? Within your family, you should strive to have your children in the top percentile regardless of your race. I just don't see how the state board's goals for each community is racist because it's establishing a minimum improvement they are striving to achieve (from 38% to 74% is an enormous improvement and a very aggressive goal).

Now, if they said they wanted to make sure no more than 74% of blacks test at or above their grade level, THAT is racism because they are trying to hold black people back. But to set a realistic community goal based on current statistics is not racist in my opinion. They are not trying to hold anyone back, they are trying to help people move forward across all races based, and they are measuring their success based on the current statistics.

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The Florida Board of Education had their backs against the wall on this one. As they explained,

"In addition, State Board of Education Chairwoman Kathleen Shanahan said that setting goals for different subgroups was needed to comply with terms of a waiver that Florida and 32 other states have from some provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. These waivers were used to make the states independent from some federal regulations."

This boils down to the Dept. of Education and the federal guidelines needed for federal matching funds. They tax the citizens of a State and then make them conform to Federal guidelines to get it back. Get rid of the Dept. of Education.

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Why not set the goal at the lowest common denominator then? If 74% is good for one race, it should be good for all races. I see no need in having a progressive scoring system based on race.

Maybe it should be based on economics... Race makes it so easy to screw up...

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I can't help but laugh at those of you that think this is 'dumbing down' anybody when there isn't a single group that has even attained the levels their expecting.

And to be fair, if you can't read at least AT your own grade level, you should be knocked down a grade.

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The problem is not in wanting to "help" people (if you can call this "help"). The problem is when you get out of school and into the world, the world doesn't give a crap WHY you can't read, write or do math as well as your peers. It just cares THAT you can't.

And it will cost you in the long run.

Patronizing people is not the same as helping them. And I agree with Iostone, this is more a poverty problem than a race problem to begin with. If we really want to help black students succeed, we'd be much better off improving schools in low income areas and providing assistance to parents who are working poor. Focusing on race has a stigmatizing effect that focusing on economics doesn't, because when you get out of school and into the world, prospective employers don't know how much money your parents made, but your skin color is readily apparent. We are inviting decades more racial issues by doing stuff like this.

Good news for Asians though -- they'll still have the presumption of intelligence.

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The Florida Board of Education had their backs against the wall on this one. As they explained,

"In addition, State Board of Education Chairwoman Kathleen Shanahan said that setting goals for different subgroups was needed to comply with terms of a waiver that Florida and 32 other states have from some provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. These waivers were used to make the states independent from some federal regulations."

This boils down to the Dept. of Education and the federal guidelines needed for federal matching funds. They tax the citizens of a State and then make them conform to Federal guidelines to get it back. Get rid of the Dept. of Education.

I missed this the first time through -- so it's not patronizing. It's just crass numbers crunching to cook the numbers to pass federal scrutiny.

I'm not sure if that's better or worse, but it's not good.

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The problem is not in wanting to "help" people (if you can call this "help"). The problem is when you get out of school and into the world, the world doesn't give a crap WHY you can't read, write or do math as well as your peers. It just cares THAT you can't.

And it will cost you in the long run.

Patronizing people is not the same as helping them. And I agree with Iostone, this is more a poverty problem than a race problem to begin with. If we really want to help black students succeed, we'd be much better off improving schools in low income areas and providing assistance to parents who are working poor. Focusing on race has a stigmatizing effect that focusing on economics doesn't, because when you get out of school and into the world, prospective employers don't know how much money your parents made, but your skin color is readily apparent. We are inviting decades more racial issues by doing stuff like this.

Good news for Asians though -- they'll still have the presumption of intelligence.

Parenting problem... I stand by this. But then you realize that that parent was at one time one of those struggling students who's parent didn't care or was trying to make ends meet, so they had to work 2 jobs to support their family and the child's education took a back seat to putting food on the table. Then you don't have anyone positive influencing the child trying to tell them there is a better way.... Hard to argue when they are in 5th or 6th grade and can barely read. Well then you would blame the teacher, but the teacher has to eat to and you want to keep the child with their peer level...

The cycle of poverty sucks!!!

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Parenting problem... I stand by this. But then you realize that that parent was at one time one of those struggling students who's parent didn't care or was trying to make ends meet, so they had to work 2 jobs to support their family and the child's education took a back seat to putting food on the table. Then you don't have anyone positive influencing the child trying to tell them there is a better way.... Hard to argue when they are in 5th or 6th grade and can barely read. Well then you would blame the teacher, but the teacher has to eat to and you want to keep the child with their peer level...

The cycle of poverty sucks!!!

I don't know if I would say it is a parenting problem, because we don't know if the parent is trying to help and can't, or whether or not the parent doesn't care. To JDave's point, there needs to be something to help with lower income schools. Because the system now ensures the wealthy get the better education, while the education of the poor gets worse.

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