Essay on Floridas' Plan

Submitted By noahsark5
Words: 1179
Pages: 5

Florida Passes Plan for Racially-Based Academic Goals

Miami Dade College

Professor Hawkins

Florida Passes Plan for Racially-Based Academic Goals


The Florida State Board of Education has passed an educational plan that leaves many outraged. This controversial plan is one of which has been set based on the race and ethnicity of students. As stated in the Palm Beach Post on October 10, 2012: The Florida State Board of Education plan sets goals for students in math and reading based upon their race. This revised strategic plan 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. Truly, what role does race, ethnicity, and things such as poverty play in students’ education or the lack thereof?

Preschool children from low-income households know fewer words, speak less, and have fewer, if any books. And "poverty" is not a synonym for color, since most of the poor in the United States are white. Poverty affects students from all groups. Race and ethnicity are of course well publicized factors in academic performance. (Sadker , 2010). While, this may prove to be true it does not negate the fact this plan has activists and people across the state infuriated.
"To expect less from one demographic and more from another is just a little off-base, our kids, although they come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, they still have the ability to learn. To dumb down the expectations for one group, seems a little unfair." (Lopez, 2012). Despite the community’s agreement with Lopez’s’ assessment on this issue, the Florida Department of Education stands by their decision. The chairwoman for the State Board of Education stated, "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. "We have set a very high goal for all students to reach in Florida," . (Shanahan, 2012) Some are not convinced of the rationale and are still angered and feel this is an issue of pure racism. According to statements made to the Palm Beach Post; "I’m somewhere between complete and utter disgust and anger and disappointment with humanity," she also stated "she wants Palm Beach County to continue to educate every child with the same expectations, regardless of race." (Robinson, 2012)

Florida Passes Plan for Racially-Based Academic Goals


While the Florida State Board of Education has statistical facts, I must agree with teacher, Juan Lopez and Palm Beach County School Board vice-chairwoman, Debra Robinson. I find this plan to be demeaning and borderline racist. As I reflect on this "strategic plan" it appears as though by implementing these rules into the education system they’ve strategically planned to get a jump start on keeping minorities at a disadvantage. I can’t help but point out that this is simply another "excuse plan", a plan which gives society yet, another reason to keep certain races and ethnicities down. How much further is society going to be allowed to dig such a hole for minorities? There are and will always be differences where race is concerned, but to predetermine a student’s success or lack thereof based on his or her race is out right racist. What message is being sent to these students when society says; due to your race or ethnicity we don’t expect too much from you. So often children are encouraged to embrace their differences and to be proud of who they are and where they come from. But it’s that very thing the Florida State Board of Education is