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Alabama education system sets easier test for blacks

by | 12th, July 2013

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SEGREGATION is against the law in Alabama. But another form of racism has taken hold. The WSJ reports:

“Beginning this fall, 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.” Alabama’s 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 American Interest notes:

In other words, minority students will need to meet lower expectations, while white students (and Asians) will be expected to reach higher proficiency levels.

Elois Zeanah, President of the Alabama Federation of Republican Women, asks:

“Doesn’t this imply that some students are not as smart as others depending on their genetic and economic backgrounds?”

Yes. It seems to.

For instance, while 95 percent of third-graders, regardless of subgroup, need to pass math in 2013 under No Child Left Behind, the Alabama plan expects 91.5 percent of white students and 79 percent of black students to pass math tests in 2013.

The Tuscaloosa news adds:

The state’s new Plan 2020 will replace No Child Left Behind, the much-maligned, Bush-era accountability program. ..

Under No Child Left Behind, 95 percent of all third-graders had to pass math by 2013 for a school to meet education standards. All third-graders, black, white, poor, special needs or otherwise, had to meet the same goal.

But under Plan 2020, the percentage of third-graders required to pass math in 2013 is different for each subgroup.

The percentages needed for third-graders to pass math in their subgroups for 2013 are:

– 93.6 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander students.

– 91.5 percent of white students.

– 90.3 percent of American Indian students.

– 89.4 percent of multiracial students.

– 85.5 percent of Hispanic students.

– 82.6 percent of students in poverty.

– 79.6 percent of English language-learner students.

– 79 percent of black students.

– 61.7 percent of special needs students.

You are no longer an individual. You are part of a race. (As you can see, there are no Jews, Arab Muslims or billionaires in Alabama).

What say the experts?

Shanthia Washington, education administrator for the Alabama Department of Education, said the reason they set lower goals for some student subgroups is because they weren’t performing as well as others based on 2012’s standardized test data.

She said one of the goals of Plan 2020 is to start students off at the level they’re performing on and set annual goals to get them to improve from there.

“We’re not just grabbing the numbers out of the air …,” Washington said. “This is real-life, true data. These are your goals every year. The goal is to reduce the students who aren’t proficient over the period of the next six years.

“The purpose in (setting higher annual percentage increases for the lower performing subgroups) is to try to give ambitious but obtainable goals for each subgroup,” she said. “With the old system, they all had to adhere to the same goal, but some might have only had 20 percent proficiency.”

So why not change the tests? If some students do worse in some tests than others, introduce new tests that give students a new angle in education? Focus on engineering, say, or art?

Washington adds:

“In that way, we feel like we can raise the performance. The ultimate goal of Plan 2020 is to ensure that each child is college- and career-ready.”

What career does the poor black child have, then, who took the easier test? Or does he go to college for, you know, more of the same strain of education that failed him already..?

Lowering the bar reduces their life expectations. It is an admittance of failure.

Photo: Pickets representing civil rights groups parade outside Wilson Auditorium in Cincinnati, Ohio, Feb. 11, 1964 where Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama spoke to a University of Cincinnati audience. Wallace, a leading spokesman for segregation and states’ rights, denounced the newly-passed civil rights bill as a federal power grab. His visit to Cincinnati coincided with a one-day boycott to protest alleged de fact segregation in public schools. There were no incidents at the speech. (AP Photo/Gene Smith)



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