Florida Follows Virginia, Adopts Achievement Standards Based on Race and Ethnicity

BY: - 15 Oct '12 | Home

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When the school year was just getting started back up, Virginia was under scrutiny for a controversial move. They changed their standards so that  students of different ethnic backgrounds  had different expectations on passing school exams. As opposed to having a overall goal of how many students are expected to pass their tests, Virginia decided to have achievement goals vary based on race. Now Florida is following suit.

The new race-based standards were approved by the Florida Board of Education this week, and affects all 2.6 million students in Florida’s 3,629 public schools. So what are the percentages? By the year 2018, Florida expects the following percentage of students to be reading at or above grade level based on their ethnicity:

  • 90 percent of Asian students
  • 88 percent of white students
  • 81 percent of Hispanic students
  • 74 percent of black students

When it comes to the percentage of students that should be at or above their math grade level:

  • 92 percent of Asian students
  • 86 percent of white students
  • 80 percent of Hispanic students
  • 74 percent of black students

Not all school officials are pleased with this move. In Virginia, teacher Carolyn J. Smith insists “the focus should be on boosting performance in underperforming racial groups rather than expecting less. The ones in the lower grades, if they don’t feel like they can do math, they’ll give up. And some parents say, ‘I can’t do math, either.'”

Juan Lopez is the magnet coordinator at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Rivier Beach. Lopez says “To expect less from one demographic and more from another is just a little off-base. Our kids, although they come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, they still have the ability to learn. To dumb down the expectations for one group, that seems a little unfair.”

So if people like the Palm Beach County School Board Vice-Chair, Debra Robinson, are “somewhere between complete and utter disgust and anger and disappointment with humanity”  and Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush feels these new standards send a “devastating massage” to black and Hispanic students, why is this new measure in effect? Florida officials feel that these new standards won’t lower expectations for kids, rather, “acknowledge current performance and outline a path for improvement.”

BMWK: Is setting lower standards for certain races really the way that  they will improve performance?


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  • http://Elevateyourmarriage.com Edward

    This is crazy! Parents in these states should be outraged. Who gets to decide that 26% of our kids will be below grade level. Ludicrous.

    • http://jackiebledsoe.com Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.

      Edward, I said the same thing when I read this, “This is crazy!” smh All I can say is HOMESCHOOL. Not easy, but you do not deal with stuff like this.

  • Niambi

    I am appalled at this. So now because of my race I get to be “substandard”. When is it ever ok to be substandard? When is it ever ok to not put forth your best effort? The state law makers who passed this clearly do not have enough common sense to even make any kind of sense in this matter. The goal should be to put more programs in place to help students become better in their schooling and not to have them “accept” the unacceptable. I am deeply saddened and concerned about the long term affects. Will teachers now begin to not “put in the effort” because of the ethnicity of their children? What will students learn from this? This will not prepare them for work or life itself. I pray that there are not any “mental” affects as well as physical effects from this.

    • Black Americans Are Broken

      This is not a good approach. But,since blacks have cornered the market on the worst neighborhoods and worst schools, what can they expect? This is not the 60’s anymore. NO ONE is preventing young black girls and boys from getting an education. Yes, this country treated them bad for years but now its a self-fullfilling prophecy. It is as if black people have given up trying. Sad.

  • G

    African Americans need to read the signs and get it together. The government is giving up on African Americans. They’ve already started to bulldoze african american neighborhoods which aren’t expected to recover from the recession. Next there will be cuts in minority programs and affirmative action is already on it’s way out. African Americans need start to take their education seriously and stop depending on more funding and programs from the government, because its not coming.

    • d

      I could not agree with you more. I see it everyday as a teacher. Parents and teachers have to work together to help children. It is important that parents make sure their children get the best education possible. Do not wait on anyone. Education is so important for our children.

    • Emma

      This is 100% true. I am a young black girl and I am tired of being the exception to this. I get mostly A’s and B’s while most of my class is black as well and goofs off, cusses out the teacher and just generally behave badly. This is all across America. I am going to take the fall because people who look like me have effed up this country.

  • Brianna

    The only good thing about this is that it makes the racism of affirmative action so obvious that even the Left cannot claim not to see it. Jim Crow was terrible, no question, but at least it was honest. Affirmative action pretends that it is not racist, and in some ways that makes it even worse, because it causes people to cling to the very bigotry and double standards that are holding them back in the first place.

    • Krista

      What about the millions of us who are biracial? The media likes to pretend that we don’t exist. WE DO. I am half black half mexican and guess what? I fit NO stereotype. I like rock music, knitting, and sci-fi and I excel in school. Stop lumping us all into black or white. We are sick of it!


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  • Yazjae Pressey

    I am a BLACK female student. My mother had me when she was 17 years old, out of wedlock. We were on welfare for the beginning years of my life, we got off when I was about 4 years old. I was a participant in the federally-funded HeadStart Program.
    I was the child that should have been aborted; the one who wouldn’t amount to anything; the child who would have ADHD AND a learning disability. I was dissed by adults from birth for bullcrap reasons that “statistics” provided!!!
    LOK AT ME NOW. I am an A student; WHITE & ASAIN kids in my school ask ME for help! I am going to college with a FULL RIDE. I am someone EXTRAORDINARY. These statistics are NOTHING in my case. When I see things like this it ticks me off. You can’t tell me that I am less than ANYONE because of my race or socioeconomic status! And if you still dare to, Just know I’m proving you wrong every step of the way. My young, BLACK, proud, intelligent, goofy, illegitimate self is a SUCCESS destined for greatness! Put THAT into some statistic. Make THAT a policy of the school system.

    • Yazjae Pressey

      I realize that my reply has many typos. I apologize for this; I was definitely in the heat of the moment. It’s fine now though, I consider the “racially-divided” aspects of society motivation to countinue to transcend into greatness…above a plethora of people from ALL races.

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