Illinois sets lower standards for blacks, Latinos

Under a No Child Left Behind waiver, Illinois schools will set lower standards for blacks, Latinos, low-income students and other groups, reports the Chicago Tribune.

For example, while 85 percent of white third- through eighth-grade students will be expected to pass state tests by 2019, the goal is 73 percent for Latinos and 70 percent for black students.

NCLB calls for 100 percent of students to pass reading and math exams this school year. Obviously, that’s not going to happen. “By 2013, almost 85 percent of Illinois schools had received failing labels, including many of the state’s premier high schools,” reports the Tribune.

Since Congress has failed to update the law, the Education Department has given most state waivers. Illinois isn’t the first to set different standards for different student groups.

The lowest 15 percent of struggling schools in Illinois will be targeted for state attention. The six-year goal is to halve the percentage of students and groups who fail reading and math exams.

 Each year, groups will have goals for improving that push them toward their 2019 target. Because groups start at different places, their final targets will be different too. For example, state data provided to the federal government shows the percent of students passing exams in 2019 would range from about 52 to 92 percent, depending on test, grade and student group.

For all students combined, the passing rate would be about 76 to 79 percent in 2019 — lower than the now-infamous 100 percent requirement.

Illinois also will use “supergroups,” lumping together black, Latino and Native American students in the same group rather than looking at their achievement separately.  The Campaign for High School Equity, a coalition of civil rights and education advocacy groups, said supergroups undercut accountability. “This eliminates one of the most important civil rights victories in education law, and returns us to a time where states may not be responsive to the needs of underserved students.”

Under the state’s new policy, districts won’t have to offer tutoring — or transfers — to students in repeatedly failing schools.

Each school will have different achievement goals, so it will be harder for parents to compare schools’ achievement results.

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  1. That’s not really lower standards. The standard for passing is the same. The group goals are different.

    Tutoring and transfers are generally a waste of time.

    • How delicately you mince around the claim of racial inferiority.

      I don’t envy you the task of trying to defend the public education system by implying that black kids are too stupid to be taught while being just vague enough to convince, well, no one but yourself, that you’re not.

  2. Miller Smith says:

    Has the fact of Human Bio-Diversity reared its head in Illinois?…or is it just filthy racism…again.

  3. This doesn’t sound like it was developed and implemented with the best interests of the students in mind.

    • To be truthful, neither was our current system of universal “education” with classes organized by students’ age.

    • Why would it be? The kids don’t vote.

      • Roger Sweeny says:

        And, of course, all parents of school age children are prohibited from voting.

        • And if attendance were mandatory for the parents, rather then the kids, the parents would have a much greater motivation to vote in school board elections. With that motivation they might be able to sway the school board to put education as the top item on the board’s priority list.

          Or they might not. After all, it may be called a public education system but it’s also a jobs program and those who materially benefit from the system are only interested in what benefits them. That’s why teacher’s unions run/support candidates to school boards.

          Making education a political football means the purpose the public education system serves is determined by whoever’s the biggest player.

          • Roger Sweeny says:

            It’s ironic. There used to be a commenter here who wrote a lot about how much parents cared about their children’s education. You’re saying they don’t even have the motivation to vote in school board elections. What’s ironic is that you use the same name that he did.

          • You could just change the subject to pornography if you want to compete with Phillip for the self-awarded gosh-but-I’m-clever medal. That is the intent of misrepresenting what I’ve written without confronting what I’ve written, is it not?

            But to get back to the topic Roger, do you think racism’s a good tactic with which to defend the failures of the public education system?

            If you do you’ll find yourself in such estimable company as the Illinois State School Superintendent Chris Koch who is quoted as saying, “A key point here is that we are setting more aggressive targets for underperforming groups that will reduce achievement gaps”.

            Lowering standards for some kids will reduce the achievement gap so that, even though they can’t read or add one whit better, it’ll look like they can. This will be of considerable comfort to Illinois State School Superintendent Koch or so, I assume, he hopes.

        • PhillipMarlowe says:

          Touche’, Roger.

  4. So, not separate, but unequal?

  5. Stacy in NJ says:

    So what if the kid is half black and half Hispanic? Do they split the difference in the standard? What if they’re East Asian, black, white and Jewish? Are we using the one drop rule?