Parents of black or Hispanic students in Alabama’s public schools, be forewarned: The state, with the backing of the Obama administration, doesn’t think your children can — or will, for the foreseeable future — perform as well as white or Asian kids. In fact, these governments are so sure your kids are inferior that they’re setting achievement standards for them far below those of other students.
“Beginning this fall,” reported the Tuscaloosa News, “Alabama public schools will be under a new state-created academic accountability system that sets different goals for students in math and reading based on their race, economic status, ability to speak English and disabilities.”
The new system, called Plan 2020, “sets a different standard for students in each of several subgroups — American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander, black, English language learners, Hispanic, multirace, poverty, special education and white,” the paper explained.
“In math, reading and graduation rates — the categories Plan 2020 examines — students who are special needs, in poverty, Hispanic, black and English language-learners have the lowest starting achievement goals of all subgroups in every grade.”
For instance, for a school to meet state standards, 93.6 percent of its third-graders classified as Asian/Pacific Islander must pass mathematics. White students are not too far behind; the state requires 91.5 percent of them to pass.
It’s all downhill from there. Only 90.3 percent of American Indian students, 89.4 percent of multiracial students, and 85.5 percent of Hispanic students must pass math. Then come students in poverty (82.6 percent) and students who are still learning English (79.6 percent). Blacks come in next-to-last, with the state requiring a mere 79 percent of them to make the grade; only special-needs students are expected to perform worse.
“Some parents and community activists say Plan 2020’s ‘race-based’ standards unfairly set low expectations for black, Hispanic, English language-learner, impoverished and special needs students,” wrote the News.
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