Florida sets lower goals for blacks, Hispanics

Florida’s race-based achievement goals are raising hackles, reports the Palm Beach Post. To qualify for a No Child Left Behind waiver, the state board of education set new goals based on race, ethnicity, poverty and disabilities.

. . .  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 proficient, whites at 86 percent, Hispanics at 80 percent and blacks at 74 percent.

The new goals are realistic, state education officials said. Blacks and Hispanics will have to improve at faster rates than whites or Asians.

. . .  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.

If each subgroup follows the trajectory in the strategic plan, all students will be 100 percent proficient by the 2022-2023 school year, according to the state education department.

Most of the states applying for NCLB waivers have set lower goals for black, Hispanic, low-income and disabled students. As long as the goals require low-scoring groups to improve more quickly, the U.S. Education Department has endorsed differential targets.

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Comments

  1. While I understand the concept behind this, I can see how it could bend some noses out of kilter. The last time something like this was tried was in Oakland with Ebonics, and as I recall it didn’t last all that long :)

  2. Roger Sweeny says:

    If each subgroup follows the trajectory in the strategic plan, all students will be 100 percent proficient by the 2022-2023 school year, according to the state education department.

    If my favorite baseball team continues to improve at the same rate, it will have 162 wins and no losses in the 2018 season.

    Why do we in education say we can do impossible things? Does it really feel that good to pretend? Is it really that awful to admit our limitations?

    • Mark Roulo says:

      The state may be *required* to say this to get the waiver. The state folks know it isn’t going to happen, and the federal folks granting the waiver know it isn’t going to happen, but the state folks may still be required to *say* it.

      Does anyone know?

    • And despite the unlikeliness of a no-loss season what baseball team sets out to just barely have a winning season? How many managers go year after year with losing teams and hang onto their jobs? How many managers hang onto their jobs after a few losing seasons by blaming the fans for not being involved enough with the team?

      You sure you want to go down this road Roger? It doesn’t look like a winner to me.

      • Mark Roulo says:

        “And despite the unlikeliness of a no-loss season what baseball team sets out to just barely have a winning season?”

        But it is not unusual for a baseball general manager to target something like 90-92 wins. This usually gets a team into the playoffs (this year only one team with 90+ wins missed the playoffs … and that team had exactly 90 wins) and going from 90ish to 100 wins is *VERY* expensive and doesn’t increase the chances of winning the world series by very much.

      • Roger Sweeny says:

        Yes, I do. Setting impossible goals does not make you a visionary or show what a wonderful person you are–”He means well.” It shows you are have a tenuous grasp of reality, or you are willing to lie. In either case, you are not to be trusted.

  3. I’m still waiting for someone to show me what the legal basis is for classifying these kids by race. Have they issued them racial identity cards? Who decides? By what criteria?

    • Usually the parents choose when they register their children with the school district.

      • cranberry says:

        If they don’t choose, school personnel can (must?) make a best guess. Or at least, that’s what it said on the forms I had to fill out for my children.

        • Hmmmm, sounds ripe for some serious statistical gaming.

        • A former teammate of my son’s had a white, blonde mother and a very light-skinned black father (IIRC, one of his parents was white). He had light brown hair and his sister was a blonde – I’m betting that school officials wouldn’t call them black unless they had seen their father.