Florida is putting in place academic standards based on the race of students in the state’s schools.
Approved this week by the Florida Board of Education, the new race-based standards affect all 2.6 million students that attend the state’s 3,629 public schools. The mandate stipulates that by 2018, 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white students, 81 percent of Hispanic students and 74 percent of black students are to be reading at or above 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, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
State officials say that the new benchmarks take into account the current performance numbers of students of color, but critics say they create different standards for the state’s students.
“Once we put students in groups, we give them very different opportunities to learn — with strong patterns of inequality across teachers, experience, and competence,” said one critic.