FLORIDA – RACE BASED EDUCATION?

GOOD MORNING WORLD

I was shocked to hear this news last night.  I could not believe my ears so had to use my eyes and Google the information this morning.  It does not seem possible in this country that this could be happening.  Are we going forward or backward?

In 2001 President George Bush proposed the ‘No Child Left Behind” legislation so that all children could receive the same and best education.  This was a bi-partisan bill.  The facts from Wiki are:

The legislation was proposed by President George W. Bush on January 23, 2001. It was coauthored by Representatives John Boehner (R-OH), George Miller (D-CA), and Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Judd Gregg (R-NH). The United States House of Representatives passed the bill on May 23, 2001 (voting 384–45),[6] and the United States Senate passed it on June 14, 2001 (voting 91–8).[7] President Bush signed it into law on January 8, 2002. The legislation was proposed by President George W. Bush on January 23, 2001. It was coauthored by Representatives John Boehner (R-OH), George Miller (D-CA), and Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Judd Gregg (R-NH). The United States House of Representatives passed the bill on May 23, 2001 (voting 384–45),[6] and the United States Senate passed it on June 14, 2001 (voting 91–8).[7] President Bush signed it into law on January 8, 2002.

The provisions in the bill (overview) were briefly:

Provisions of the act

No Child Left Behind requires all government-run schools receiving federal funding to administer a state-wide standardized test annually to all students. This means that all students take the same test under the same conditions. Schools which receive Title I funding through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 must make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in test scores (e.g. each year, its fifth graders must do better on standardized tests than the previous year’s fifth graders).

One of the goals was to:

 

Effects on racial and ethnic minority students

Seeks to narrow class and racial gaps in school performance by creating common expectations for all.

Requires schools and districts to focus their attention on the academic achievement of traditionally under-served groups of children, such as low-income students, students with disabilities, and students of “major racial and ethnic subgroups”.[68] Each state is responsible for defining major racial and ethnic subgroups itself.[68] Many previous state-created systems of accountability measured only average school performance, allowing schools to be highly rated even if they had large achievement gaps between affluent and disadvantaged students.

Remember this is from Wikipedia which can be edited though for my purpose of explanation I believe it gives the idea and goal – that all American children should get the very best education available.  While I am no longer actively involved in our schools as our children have grown I do try to keep current.  One of the things I have gathered from schools is that this program was harder to implement than intended and created more paperwork than necessary and may not have been the success it was thought it could be for the students.  There was talk that teachers were teaching to the tests and not just teaching.  The teachers were complaining about all the red tape.  Not sure this would be deemed a success.

President Obama has issued waivers from this program to about half of the states in the union.  He also has proposed various reforms to the education system in this country.  I am not sure his plan included what is going to happen in Florida.  He granted a waiver from NCLB for Florida on Feb. 9, 2012.

Florida has since decided that all children cannot learn in the same way?  I leave a question mark as I really do not understand.  From the CBS affiliate in Tampa I found the following information.

http://tampa.cbslocal.com/2012/10/12/florida-passes-plan-for-racially-based-academic-goals/

The controversy comes from the Palm BeachCounty’s Board of Education’s plan that sets goals according to race.  This plan clearly sets expectations to be different for different races.  How can that happen in this country? 

Babies are all birth in the same ways.  They come from mothers who have nurtured them in their wombs. Babies all are born with receptors to accept love and information.  There is no difference in these precious children except the race to which they belong.  All children have the capacity to learn at the same strength.  

I realize there are socio- economic factors that may come into play later on in their education.  These can create learning issues.  Race is not one of the factors that inhibit learning.  Why are we educating according to this as a norm?  I am not a teacher or education professional in any way.  I am a mother and love children and know they all are beautiful, precious and smart.  This morning I am very confused.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

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