"All children should be held to high standards and for them to say that for African-Americans the goal is below other students is unacceptable," said Patrick Franklin, president and CEO of the Urban League of Palm Beach County.
The State Board of Education on Tuesday approved its strategic plan that in part sets different reading and math targets for students according to their heritages.
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According to the plan, by 2018, the state wants 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white, 81 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of blacks to be at or above reading grade level.
The state also wants 86 percent of white students, 92 percent of Asians, 80 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of blacks to be at or above their math grade level.
The problem is that you need to have goals that are measurable and attainable. Having unattainable goals leads to helplessness and despondency.
For around where I live the black/Latino numbers seem a reasonable goal. The white/Asian numbers are at or below where those groups are already so they'd need to be raised.
Then, if the goals are met early, they can be celebrated, everybody rewarded and made to feel good, then raised again.
The usual way is to say "100% for everybody" and then everybody gets annoyed, frustrated, irritated, and despondent. Administrators go whacky and school boards feel stressed. You don't make big jumps. At best it's a slow process.
Then again, acknowledging reality probably is against the spirit of this part of federal law. It's basically been faith-based for the last 50 years, and we've seen how such things work. It's just that the "faith" has been humanistic.