Sunday, 14 October 2012

A Dividing Number

It won't make into your local news, unless you live in Florida....and it certainly won't make into your national news....like those Today Show folks, or the CBS Nightly News....but the Florida State Board of Education has done something a bit unusual.

The Florida board has come to realize there is some difference in testing results between races.  So they set up a plan of sorts, which has different goals.....for students of different races.  By 2018....ninety percent of Asian kids ought to be reading at or above their grade level.  Naturally, white kids, in the eighty-eight percent range....ought to be reading above their grade level.  Latino kids?  Well....they ought to be reading with eighty-one percent at or above their level.  And black kids?  Only seventy-four percent of them have to read at or above their level.

To make some sense out of this...the board says they had to get a waiver to get around the federal law of "No Kid Left Behind"....and this waiver put them into a corner, so they had to adjust what they could accomplish, and this race thing just plain made good sense.

So I sat and pondered.

They didn't mention Jewish kids.  They didn't mention Russian kids.  They didn't mention American Indian kids.

What happens if you are fifty-percent white and fifty-percent Asian....which category will you fall into?

Are we kinda saying that black kids are in the loser status....compared to Asian kids?

You can imagine yourself sitting in a class of twenty-four kids, and there's some obvious points of division....where black kids can just smile and not worry about much, and the Asian kids are pressured to perform.  Somehow, this state school board has tossed in some methods that will stir up passions real quick.  In the end.....the sad thing is that 100 percent of kids ought to be reading at their grade level.....end of the story.  We don't seem to be aiming very high.

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