What’s particularly troubling about these standards is that these education officials are not so much lowering the bar for students of certain races as they’re lowering the bar for themselves for students of certain races.
They set a higher standard for white and Asian students, where it will be easier for educators to meet them, but lower for black and Hispanic students:
The Florida State Board of Education passed a plan that sets goals for students in math and reading based upon their race.
On Tuesday, the board passed a revised strategic plan that 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.
The plan has infuriated many community activists in Palm Beach County and across the state.
“To expect less from one demographic and more from another is just a little off-base,” Juan Lopez, magnet coordinator at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Riviera Beach, told the Palm Beach Post.
“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.”
Call it the soft bigotry of low expectations. Rather than inspiring students of all ethnicities to aspire to one high standard they’re essentially signing off on the underachievement of some students based on skin color.
And yet, that’s perfectly in keeping with leftist thinking. It’s not about individual achievement, it’s about manufacturing equal outcomes. In the realm of economics our friends on the left would use tax policy and other policy levers to punish the most successful and drag them down to “equality” with those who are less successful. In the academic world, we see different standards for different people based on skin color.
What a free society should pursue is equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.