I would have brought this story up earlier, but the first couple of times I saw it mentioned on Twitter I’d assumed that it was either a joke, an article from The Onion, or some sort of intentional hoax. But as it turns out, at least according to the local news, the state of Florida’s Board of Education has decided to throw in the towel on education and will institute a new set of target goals for the percentages of students achieving academic success based on… their race.
The Florida State Board of Education passed a plan that sets goals for students 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.
Even if you wanted to make the argument that maybe – just maybe – you could relax the requirements for some school districts based on their relative economic levels, that would be highly problematic at best. A baseline assumption that some students are simply destined to do worse than others based on their environment regardless of their own personal drive, ambition, and support levels of their families is insulting to say the least. But this goes much further, assuming that not only are black and Hispanic students incapable of matching their white peers achievements, but that the Asian kids will leave the white students in the dust without breaking a sweat.
The Lonely Conservative sees the not very invisible hand of Washington behind it all.
Under pressure from the Education Department, which investigated it over “racial disparities” and “disparate impact,” the Oakland, California, school system has agreed to impose “targeted reductions” in “suspensions for African American students, Latino students, and students receiving special education services; and African American students suspended for defiance.” See Agreement to Resolve Oakland Unified School District, OCR Case No. 09125001, page 14, Section VIII(c)(iii).
These “targeted reductions” are racial quotas in all but name. (“Disparate impact” is when a process affects one racial group more than another, despite having no racist motive, such as when whites have higher average scores than minorities on a standardized test.) The Oakland case is just “the first of some 20 federal investigations into racial disparities in school districts’ disciplinary practices,” which may lead to racial quotas in school discipline in many other school systems (and eventually perhaps in colleges as well).
What are these people thinking? It’s bad enough that we have an inbred media system which seeks to divide the nation up politically into ideological pigeonholes, but now we’re going to transfer that over to the education system before the kids even make it to early adulthood? Don’t be terribly surprised if the backlash from this has the Board of Education doing a fast walk back this week.