The Florida State Board of Education passed an educational plan that can only be described as extremely racist. Instead of setting goals for the children to be the very best, they set goals based on the child’s race. They also take poverty and disabilities into account. Disabilities are understood, but race and poverty?
By 2018, they want 90% of Asian students, 88% white students, 81% Hispanics and 74% black students to read at or above grade level. They want 92% Asian, 86% whites, 80% Hispanics, and 74% blacks to be proficient in math.
“To expect less from one demographic and more from another is just a little off-base,” said Juan Lopez, magnet coordinator at John F. Kennedy Middle School. “Our kids, although they come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, they still have the ability to learn,” Lopez said. “To dumb down the expectations for one group, that seems a little unfair.”
A little off-base? A little unfair? Basically the board is telling blacks they will never be as smart as anyone else so why even bother trying. State Board of Education Chairwoman Kathleen Shanahan said they set very high goal for all students in Florida.
No, they did not. The board set high expectations for Asians and told whites, Hispanics, and blacks they’ll never be as smart as their Asian counterparts. The board told Asians the stereotypes about them being excellent in school are true. They play into the stereotype Asians excel at academics more than other races and that poor black students don’t do as well as others. It is insulting to play into stereotypes instead of inspiring them to be the very best. Just because they are poor doesn’t mean they can’t come out on top.
This law is pure racism. It’s true that everyone doesn’t learn the same way, but that doesn’t give the board of education an excuse to separate students by race. The goals should be the same for every child and every child should aim to be at 100% in reading and math and all the other subjects. Every child should be pushed to be their very best no matter their race or living conditions.
Palm Beach County School Board vice-chairwoman Debra Robinson is disgusted by this law and received a lot of complaints from Hispanic and black parents. Hopefully they’ll raise enough of a fuss to have this racist law overturned.