Florida students in government-run schools are being challenged to improve their math and reading performance significantly over the next six years. But some students are being held to higher standards than others depending on their race.
The State Board of Education recently voted that by 2018, 74 percent of black students, 81 percent of Hispanic students, 88 percent of white students, and 90 percent of Asian students need to be reading at grade level.
Those new standards are in response to the U.S Department of Education’s requirement that the percentage of student sub-groups that are not proficient in reading and math be halved.
“As a matter of philosophy … I think we should have the same goal for all categories of our citizenry,” said board member John Padget. “Are we happy with the signal that this sends?” Board member Roberto Martinez added, “Should an Asian child and an Hispanic child be held to the same standard down the road? The answer is, yes”
This is the preferred vision of politicians and bureaucrats, and not just ones in Florida—equal opportunity and expectations for some but not others. But another vision of equal educational opportunity for all exists in Florida now—not some point down an undefined road.
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