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Latino Daily News

Monday October 15, 2012

Florida Public Schools Looking to Set Proficiency Goals Based on Race

Florida Public Schools Looking to Set Proficiency Goals Based on Race

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A Florida school plan which takes students’ race into account when setting proficiency goals is receiving a lot of criticism from both educators and civil rights groups.

The plan, which looks to close the state’s immense achievement gap by the 2022-2023 school year, would take into account students’ race and socioeconomic status when setting goals regarding this like reading and math proficiency goals.

Opponents of the new education benchmarks say setting higher goals for white and Asian students while lower goals for Hispanic and African America students is insulting

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Education has stated that the goal was not lower the expectations of certain students, but to “take into account their starting point” in order to set “realistic and attainable” goals.

On Tuesday, the plan in question was approved by the State Board of Education. With it, the board hopes to bring 90 percent of Asian, 88 percent of white, 81 percent of Hispanic, and 74 percent of black students to be at or above their grade’s reading level by 2018. By that same school year, the state is looking to bring 92 percent of Asian, 86 percent of white, 80 percent of Hispanic, and 74 percent of black students to be at or above their grade’s math level.

This plan comes after years of frightening statistics. In Broward County alone, in 2011, 86.8 percent of white students graduated, while only 75.2 percent of Latinos graduated.

Currently, only 53 percent of Florida’s Hispanic students are at their correct reading level, with only 38 percent of black students and 69 percent of white students at the correct level.

Virginia recently came under fire for similar standards after the state joined 31 other states to waiver from the “No Child Left Behind” stance.