School Performance standards based on race: A new era of ‘Jim Crow’ in education?

18 Jul

Moi stated her opinion about school performance standards based on race in New Virginia education standards are racial profiling:
In 3rd world America: The link between poverty and education, moi wrote:
Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of society’s problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family. There is a lot of economic stress in the country now because of unemployment and underemployment. Children feel the stress of their parents and they worry about how stable their family and living situation is.
The best way to eliminate poverty is job creation, job growth, and job retention. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between Education and Poverty For a good article about education and poverty which has a good bibliography, go to Poverty and Education, Overview  There will not be a good quality of life for most citizens without a strong education system. One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. Without continued sustained investment in education in this state, we are the next third world country.
The Casey Foundation reports in 2011 Kids Count Data Book about the well-being of children. Readers can create a custom profile for each state using the data center, which describe in detail how children in each state are doing. Two articles detail why this society must be focused on job creation and the expansion and preservation of the middle class. Too many people are financially insecure in the current economic climate.
The Huffington Post article, Poor Students With Poorly Educated Parents More Disadvantaged In U.S. Than Other Countries about the effect of income inequality:

Intuitively, a child’s academic performance is likely higher if he or she has highly educated parents, and lower if the child has less educated parents. A new report confirms that’s true, but reveals that American children of poorly educated parents do a lot worse than their counterparts in other countries.
Income mobility just within the U.S. has significantly declined since the mid-90s, according to a report this month by the Boston Federal Reserve. In recent years, families were more likely to stay within their income class than before — the rich are staying rich, and the poor and middle-class are struggling to move up the economic ladder….

Samreen Hooda reports in the Huffington Post article, Virginia New Achievement Standards Based On Race And Background:

Virginia’s new achievement standards have raised eyebrows.
Part of the state’s new standards dictate a specific percentage of racial group that should pass school exams, a move that has angered the Virginia Black Caucus. The caucus’ chairwoman, Democratic state Sen. Mamie Locke, says the new standards marginalize students by creating different goals for students of various backgrounds.
“Nothing is going to work for me if there is a differentiation being established for different groups of students,” Locke told the Daily Press. “Whether that’s race, socio-economic status or intellectual ability. If there is a differentiation, I have a problem with it.”
Virginia Secretary of Education Laura Fornash disagrees with Virginia Black Caucus’ assertions.
“Please be assured that the McDonnell administration does not hold a student of a particular race or income level, or those of any other subgroup, to a different standard,” Fornash wrote in a three-page letter explaining the changed standards.
The standards do not pose different pass rates for different groups: regardless of race, each student has to correctly answer the same number of test questions in order to pass. The difference lies in the expectation of passing from groups of different backgrounds. The new rules were designed as part of Virginia’s waiver from No Child Left Behind, along with 31 other states and Washington, D.C.
For instance, only 45 percent of black students are required to pass the math state test while 82 percent for Asian Americans, 68 percent for whites and 52 percent for Hispanics are required to pass. In reading, 92 percent of Asian students, 90 percent of white students, 80 percent of hispanic students, 76 percent of black students, and 59 percent of students with disabilities are required to pass the state exam.

Instead of lowering standards, maybe Virginia should be asking the question of how to raise standards for ALL children.

Grace Chen wrote in the Public School Review article, Performance Based on Race? Florida Schools Set Standards According to Ethnicity:

The New Benchmarks
The Examiner reports that the Florida State Board of Education has proposed setting academic benchmarks in math and reading according to the following subgroups:
Proficiency rating for reading by 2018 –

Asians                         90%
Whites                         88%
Native Americans       82%
Hispanics                    81%
African Americans      74%

Proficiency rating for mathematics by 2018 –

Asians                         92%
Whites                         86%
Native Americans       81%
Hispanics                    80%
African Americans      74%

Students with disabilities, those learning English as a second language and economically disadvantaged students will be left out of the new benchmarks completely, according to the Daily Caller. While this is the short-term goal proposed by the state board, members are quick to point out that the long-term goal is to have 100-percent proficiency in all subgroups for both math and reading by the 2022-2023 school year. That long-term goal hasn’t smoothed the feathers of many who were significantly ruffled after hearing the breakdown of the subgroups for the six-year goal….
It isn’t just the minority students at the bottom of the benchmarks getting a raw deal, according to representatives of some of the other subgroups. Winnie Tang, president of the Asian American Federation of Florida, told the Examiner that there are “a lot of [Asian] students that are average and below average. Being perceived as a higher achiever really hurts a lot of students.”
Even the former governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, appears at odds with the new standards. When similar benchmarks were recently introduced in Washington D.C., Bush wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post asserting that academic standards should be “color blind.” Others have voiced concerns over the fact that different benchmarks for races could eventually translate into different grading policies in the classroom between students. However, at this time, there is no indication that changes in grading policies would occur.  
Method to the Madness?
The Florida School Board defends its actions, stating the benchmarks are a more accurate reflection of where students are currently. Pam Stewart, Florida commissioner of education, told USA Today that the achievement targets for low-income and minority children are “very aggressive” – in fact more aggressive than those for white students because the former have more ground to make up in meeting federal benchmarks in the future. The goal is improvement in the numbers, after all.
For example, while the goal for African-American students is a reading proficiency of 74 percent, that is a monumental increase from the proficiency rating of 38 percent last year. By the same token, 69 percent of white students were proficient in reading last year. That means the jump they must make to 88 percent is actually a smaller jump than for African-American students.
“The target proficiency levels are very aggressive and they reflect the outlook by the board that none of the demographic sub-groups will achieve 100-percent proficiency by the end of the period outlined in the strategic plan,” Stewart also stated in the Daily Caller. “Nevertheless, the board did set higher expectations for the rate of growth in proficiency level for those subgroups with the lowest percentage of students currently performing at grade level.”
Amy Wilkins of the Education Trust in Washington D.C. told USA Today that her group designed the plan, which has been somewhat misrepresented by the Florida school board. Wilkins explains that similar plans have been adopted in 20 other states in order to qualify for No Child Left Behind waivers from the federal government. Last month, the District of Columbia announced a similar program for schools there.
Wilkins describes the plan as demanding “more improvement, and faster improvement for the kids that are falling behind. If people focused on that… we might get a little further without the fireworks,” Wilkins added.
While the hoopla over the racially-charged benchmarks continue, some educators worry that the controversy will mask the larger issue underneath. When only 38 percent of a particular subgroup is reading at a proficient level, the education system is failing a broad number of students. Even proficiency levels of 69 percent are far below the national goal of having all students reading at grade level. Whether students are broken down by race, income level or gender, one fact remains consistent – the United States is not doing a satisfactory job of educating its youth to be the American workforce of the future.

More states are considered race-based performance standards.

Jamon Smith writes in the Tuscaloosa News article, New education standards factor in student race, economic status:

It sets a different standard for students in each of several subgroups — American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander, black, English language learners, Hispanic, multirace, poverty, special education and white.
No Child Left Behind divided students into subgroups as well, but it didn’t set different goals for students by subgroup.
For example, under No Child Left Behind, 95 percent of all third-graders had to pass math by 2013 for a school to meet education standards. All third-graders, black, white, poor, special needs or otherwise, had to meet the same goal.
But under Plan 2020, the percentage of third-graders required to pass math in 2013 is different for each subgroup.
The percentages needed for third-graders to pass math in their subgroups for 2013 are:
– 93.6 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander students.
– 91.5 percent of white students.
– 90.3 percent of American Indian students.
– 89.4 percent of multiracial students.
– 85.5 percent of Hispanic students.
– 82.6 percent of students in poverty.
– 79.6 percent of English language-learner students.
– 79 percent of black students.
61.7 percent of special needs students…..

Schools must be relentless about the basics for their population of kids.   
What does it Mean to Be Relentless About the Basics:      
1.Students acquire strong subject matter skills in reading, writing, and math.
2.Students are assessed often to gauge where they are in acquiring basic skills.
3.If there are deficiencies in acquiring skills, schools intervene as soon as a deficiency assessment is made.
4.Schools intervene early in life challenges faced by students which prevent them from attending school and performing in school.
5.Appropriate corrective assistance is provided by the school to overcome both academic and life challenges.   
Many educators and policymakers are at a lost to deal with the complex social and economic stew of America. People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the country and there must be good schools in all parts of this society. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.
Center for American Progress report: Disparity in education spending for education of children of color
Report: Black students more likely to be suspended
Study: When teachers overcompensate for prejudice
Who says Black children can’t learn? Some schools get it
Harlem movie and the hard question: Does indigenous African-American culture support academic success?
Social Class
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