Florida’s New Educational Plan Questioned by Some as Racist

About a month ago, Florida announced a new educational plan with racially-divided goals for students. If you have yet to hear of this issue affecting our children in Florida, here’s the basics as covered by CBS here and by the Palm Beach Post here. The Board has determined a twenty-four page plan possibly to be effective in 2018, setting different expectations of children’s learning gains by race and ethnicity. Below is a look at the statistics set to be effective in six years:

For Reading:

  • 90% of Asians expected to be at or above grade level
  • 88% of Caucasians expected to be at or above grade level
  • 81% of Hispanics expected to be at or above grade level
  • 74% of African Americans expected to be at or above grade level

For Math:

  • 92% of Asians expected to be at or above grade level
  • 86% of Caucasians expected to be at or above grade level
  • 80% of Hispanics expected to be at or above grade level
  • 74% of African Americans expected to be at or above grade level

Although it is easy for many people to get carried away with the issue of racism, several organizations have concluded that the Department of Education was actually being racist and biased in setting these race-varying goals.

The Board defends and justifies themselves by stating that this plan is a necessary good: it is “needed to comply with the No Child Left Behind Act.” The plan also states that it will look into measurements by both poverty and disability, which may lessen the claims of racism. According to the Department, their goal is to strategically maximize student’s efficiencies over time. In theory, this will create equality for all subgroups and races.

All have potential to be success regardless of race (Photo by NWABR)

A question poses in many minds: How is this plan the most efficient way to help children strive when you set a low standard for them?  As depicted by  this article, this plan was passed in October. Some find it ironic that November was National Career Development Month in that adults can’t hold a low standard for our children and expect them to grow and ready themselves for the workforce if children’s potential is stifled with potentially discriminatory low expectations. They ask “if it is not acceptable for these generalizations to occur in the workplace, why is it acceptable in any of our children’s schools?”

Despite arguments, the plan has already been passed. Regardless of whether or not it is correct, it is simply a matter of morals and ethics as of current. How could one put their children under such generalization? My opinion as an Asian student, though I will not deal with this matter, is that this is something I would not stand for. My hard work, or anyone’s hard work for that matter, should not be thought of as more or less based upon ethnicity. I sympathize with the other statistics, too. The important thing to remember, to remind your kids, your students, and your peers, is that they are not a number and can not be generalized as one.

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