FLORIDA PLANS TO MEASURE STUDENT SUCCESS – BY RACE
The soft bigotry of lower expectations?
Florida educators have come up with a new policy for setting educational standards for students based on their various comprehension levels. Well, not exactly. Actually – it’s based on race. Nothing could go wrong with that brilliant idea, right? Hell no.
By 2018, Florida’s Department of Education wants 90% of its Asian students to be reading at or above grade level, compared to 88% of white students, 81% of Hispanic students and 74% of black students. In math, state educational officials want that figure to be 92% for Asians, which is 11% higher than for native Americans and 18% higher than for blacks.
In case you have any doubt, of course that’s racism – as defined by Merriam-Webster, anyway:
A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities; and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. A racial prejudice or discrimination.
What the hell is wrong with these people?
This ill-advised policy would only serve to reinforce stereotypes – not only in how one races views another, but in how each race views itself, as well. Implicitly telling Asian students: “We think you’re smarter than everyone else.” Seriously? We want one race of students in our schools believing it’s superior to all others? Hell – why shouldn’t it if the educational system tells them as much?
Conversely, telling black students: “We’re going to give “you people” the biggest break of all – because we just don’t think you have the mental capacity to measure up to the whites and Asians.” Nothing can go wrong there, huh? While I’m sure you’d have a few lazy black students who’d welcome the policy – which you would have in any race – or group – for which you set lower standards – what does this lowering of the bar say to the hardworking black student? What does it say to black parents?
While students of varying aptitudes have been properly placed in various groups for decades – advanced classes, slow readers, etc. – a blanket policy of creating groups based solely on skin color – and lowering or raising expectations for each of those groups depending on the color of their skin is an admission that Florida’s public school system has failed. Does it lack the ability to educate students as individuals – and as a consequence, reduces itself to throwing them in to racial groups and setting expectations based on its failed results of the past?
It certainly appears so. According to state statistics, 69% of white students in Florida scored at or above grade level in reading during the 2011-2012 school year, compared to 53% of Hispanic students and 38% of blacks.
So, Florida’s public education system decided that the most effective way to reduce or eliminate these variances is to reinforce them by lowering expectations for blacks and Hispanics – not to mention their teachers. I’m sure the unions – NEA and FEA – love it.
What will be the consequences of this discriminatory policy when Florida’s black students leave school and enter the work place? Will standards be lowered – just for them – in their jobs or careers? Will they be paid the same salaries, bonuses or commissions for doing less work? Will they advance in those jobs based on goals and objectives that are lower for them than for employees of other races? The answer to all four questions is obvious: Hell, no.
As a result, by programming black students to believe that less is more, or at least “equal”, Florida’s public education system will fail black students profoundly in preparing them for the real world. Call it the law of unintended consequences if you’d like, but in reality – it’s racism of the worst kind; racism that will most likely be embraced by a majority of Florida’s black population.
What’s next, Florida – revisitation of the argument for teaching Ebonics?
Separate but equal is not equal.