Should Educational Goals Be Based on Race?
Florida joins D.C. and Virginia in creating educational benchmarks based on racial subgroups.
According to CBS News, by 2018, the Florida BOE plan would have 74 percent of African-American grade school students at (or above) grade level in reading; 81 percent of Hispanic students are expected to reach grade level (or above) in reading and further ethnic breakdown puts expectations of 82 percent of American Indian students, 88 percent of white and 90 percent of Asian students at (or above) grade level.
For math proficiency: 74 percent of African-American students, 80 percent Hispanic, 81 percent American Indian, 86 percent white and 92 percent of Asian students are to be at (or above) grade level.
Many who are against this plan cite reasons of the lower expectations for some races and higher expectations for others as racist; community leaders feel it is stereotyping and the NAACP says it is "soft bigotry of low expectations."
Florida Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart says the plan will help Florida achieve a "world class education system"; and per CBS Tampa, State Board of Education Chairwoman Kathleen Shanahan has said that setting goals for different subgroups was needed to comply with terms of a waiver that makes states independent from some federal regulations and provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.
While school systems routinely make accommodations for students based on disabilities and language, do you think this is going too far with creating subgroups based on nationality or race? Or is this a creative approach to raise expectations for some subgroups?