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Florida Will Measure Your Kids' Academic Goals by Race

Oh for crapsake, Florida.

On Tuesday, the Florida Board of Education agreed on a new strategic vision for the next six years: By 2018, a student's academic goals will be determined by race.

For example: It will require 88 percent of white students to be proficient in reading but only 74 percent of African-American students. Because African-Americans don't read, of course!

For math, the goals are 92 percent of Asian kids proficient, because if movies taught us anything, it's that Asians are super good at math. Whites are not as good, so they get measured at 86 percent; Hispanics, who learn to count from when their moms bring home tips after cleaning rich people's houses all day, are at 80 percent; and blacks again at 74 percent, so why even bother, blacks.

Shockingly, many are outraged by this plan. Because it's horribly, horribly racist and stereotypical.

"All children should be held to high standards, and for them to say that for African-Americans the goal is below other students is unacceptable," Urban League of Palm Beach County President Patrick Franklin told the Sun Sentinel.

"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.

Pam Stewart of the Florida Commissioner of Education says critics are totally off-base in getting angry that children are getting lumped into race to factor their academic standards. 

She says Florida has "very aggressive" achievement targets for poor and minority kids

In fact, these achievement goals are even more aggressive for the poor and minorities than for white, middle-class kids. So you see, it still sounds insanely racist and stereotypical when explained further, because it totally is. 

Hey, somebody's gotta work at the car wash!

"This plan does not set lower standards for any student or any subgroup," Stewart said.

Except that it does.

"Florida believes that every child can learn," she added.

It's just that, some learn faster than others because of blackness.

Like Stewart, board members who support the plan argue that the numbers they're aiming for in all categories would be an improvement on current levels.

Even though, statistically, whites, blacks, Asians, the poor, and the disabled are not all expected to improve at the same rate.

According to Amy Wilkins of the Education Trust, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group for low-income and minority students, about 20 states have adopted similar plans to qualify for waivers from the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Wilkins says that the Florida Board of Education screwed up in the way it presented the message. Because you have to be subtle when you tell people African-American and Hispanic kids learn slower than white kids.

The guidelines, she says, demand "more improvement and faster improvement" for the kids who are furthest behind.

Wilkins, whose group designed the plan, says that it's a "sensible, ambitious goal" that doesn't sugarcoat the neediest students' low proficiency levels.

So get ready, kids. The color of your skin and your parents' income will now determine how smart you have to be. We ain't gonna sugar-coat it for you. The world is terribly racist and will always lump you into stereotypes. Better you learn that now while you're a kid, in school. 

That Martin Luther King Jr. report you did for Social Studies? ALL. LIES. Unless you're black, in which case, you probably can't even read what you wrote so good.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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