© Miri WTPOTUS October 14, 2012
Just when you think you’ve heard everything in the new “post-racial,” Obama-transformed United States of America, Florida comes up with something quite unbelievable. Talk about the “soft bigotry of low expectations!”
Florida is enshrining racial stereotyping and bigotry into its academic achievement goals:
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. …
Florida Department of Education said the goals recognize that not every group is starting from the same point and are meant to be ambitious but realistic.
As an example, the percentage of white students scoring at or above grade level (as measured by whether they scored a 3 or higher on the reading FCAT) was 69 percent in 2011-2012, according to the state. For black students, it was 38 percent, and for Hispanics, it was 53 percent.
In addition, State Board of Education Chairwoman Kathleen Shanahan said that setting goals for different subgroups was needed to comply with terms of a waiver that Florida and 32 other states have from some provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. These waivers were used to make the states independent from some federal regulations.
It’s promising to hear that many “activists” as well as the parents of black and Hispanic children are outraged by these racist plans.
The key to understanding the policy is recognizing the role those “waivers” play. The waivers are a gift to the teachers’ unions, which have never liked President George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind Act”. Why? Because it holds teachers accountable for their failure to teach, and teachers are also supposed to be qualified to teach. The waivers also help Obama to centralize education policy at the federal level, and teachers’ unions nearly uniformly support Obama.
States that secure waivers are no longer required to ensure universal student proficiency in math and reading under NCLB’s Adequate Yearly Progress provision. NCLB requires that, over time, states raise the bar to achieve 100 percent student proficiency in reading and math.
NCLB also requires that all teachers of core subjects—defined as reading, math, science, foreign language, government, economics, art, geography, and history—be “highly qualified” under the law’s Higher Qualified Teacher mandate. To obtain this status, a teacher must hold a bachelor’s degree, hold state certification, and demonstrate subject matter mastery.
In order to secure waivers from these and other provisions of NCLB, states must agree to the Obama Administration’s policy preferences, which include basing teacher evaluations in part on student performance and adopting national standards and tests for what every child will be taught in school.
These new goals rig the game to ensure that “student performance” will result in positive “teacher evaluations!” Evaluations will then trump qualifications, such as degrees, certification, and subject mastery.
President Bush wanted to ensure that all children, regardless of race, have a fair chance to learn by being taught by qualified individuals with proven track records.
President Obama wants to ensure that teachers and administrators face no real consequences for their failures, to make it possible for unqualified and ineffective teachers to keep their jobs (so unions can keep those dues-paying members), and to make sure that Obama and his socialist supporters are able to control “what every child will be taught” in school.
This policy is not designed to help children. It is designed to make it acceptable for teachers to fail. Teachers won’t be challenged to teach the children at risk of being “left behind,” by any means necessary (such as becoming qualified to teach)!
The policy is focused on the wrong subjects–the teachers, instead of the children. The school finances, instead of the children. The viability of teachers’ unions, instead of the children.
To dumb down academic standards for certain racial and ethnic groups does nothing to ensure that children LEARN. (Or that taxpayers get the most bang for their educational buck.)
These policies are nothing more than a power grab by the federal government and a gift to the teachers’ unions. They win; the children and the taxpayers lose. Society as a whole loses, too, because these racist policies perpetuate stereotypes and prevent all of our children from reaching their God-given potential.
Update 10/15/12: As if it’s not bad enough to make different academic standards by race, now the Obama administration is forcing schools to have different disciplinary standards by race!
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).
Contrary to the Education Department’s demands, the federal appeals court in Chicago has said that schools cannot use racial targets or quotas for school discipline, since that violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. See People Who Care v. Rockford Board of Education, 111 F.3d 528, 534 (7th Cir. 1997). That court ruling also said that a school cannot use race in student discipline to offset racial disparities not rooted in school officials’ racism (so-called “disparate impact”).
As we know, however, the Obama administration has never let the law, the Constitution, or prior court rulings to stop them from “fundamentally transforming” the USA. Now the soft bigotry extends to behavior, too. Talk about negative racial stereotypes!
Photo from Wiki Commons.