Florida’s Race Based Education Experiment

Posted on October 17, 2012 by

It occurred to me yesterday that the HBD sphere must be atwitter with excitement as it appears their theories on race and intellectual capacity are gaining mainstream traction and influencing public policy; at least here in the Sunshine State. From USA Today:

[Florida’s] Department of Education has touched off a firestorm over its strategic plan that will judge the achievement of public school students in part by race and ethnicity.

The plan, approved by the state Board of Education on Tuesday night, calls for 90% of Asian students to be at or above grade level in reading by 2018. It expects whites to be at 88%, Hispanics at 81% and blacks at 74%.

In math, the board expects 92% of Asian students to be scoring at or above grade level, whites at 86%, Hispanic students at 80% and black students at 74%.

My take is that 74%  is generous given the OOW birthrate among blacks, the dysfunction that the broken family structure brings with it, and the pathologies that come with them. This is a difficult issue because no one, not even your average black Gospel preacher, will address it. Most wield gay marriage as example of an issue that is so charged that you will quickly find out what it’s like to go up against the forces of darkness when you challenge it. I for one, wish they would shut up about that. They have bigger fish to fry.

That’s not the litmus test. Calling gay marriage a sin, even in the worst black neighborhoods, won’t raise any eyebrows, even amongst gay black people. Start however, calling it a sin and a shame that 70% of our kids are born without the benefit of an intact home, and then you’ll touch a nerve, because it’s a sin that 70% of the people are or have been engaged in at some point. If not them, their kids. Very few black Americans are exempt from the dismal statistic.

Most black preachers won’t touch the subject in any kind of depth because they don’t feel qualified. Either they are divorced and/or the father of an illegitimate child in their past, or they have illegitimate grandchildren. 70% of the babies born in the community and extension the congregation, are fatherless. They will call fornication sin, but stop short of admitting that the reason the black community and its children are in such a mess socially as well as educationally is because of OOW births, fatherlessness, and the dysfunctional home lives that make it all but impossible for these children to arrive at school ready to learn, thrive, and grow.

The welfare that was supposed to provide for these kids, the head start program, that was suppose to level the educational playing field, all of it backfired. It created cycles of dependency, incentivized immorality, and things have gotten progressively worse with each succeeding generation.

Some compare this new policy in Florida to the typical liberal line on race and raise affirmative action as a comparative policy.This is different from affirmative action. It’s a subtle difference, but a distinction nonetheless. This is different from affirmative action because the state is saying, “Look. We have tried everything. The achievement gap isn’t narrowing. Maybe it’s time to acknowledge that it may not be possible to narrow it, and move on from there. Maybe the playing field will never be level.”

HBD proponents would say that the state is finally acknowledging that black children are inferior intellectually, that the field can’t be leveled. This is the source of controversy. Maybe they are saying that. I don’t really know, nor do I think it matters at this point. Until black Americans (starting with the preachers), dig deep and become bold enough to deal with the hard issues, it’s hypocritical of us to try to make the state educate our kids as if they come from functional homes when they come from homes with no fathers, no structure, no discipline, and more TV’s in them than books.

The hypocrisy is that many black so-called leader are victims when they want to be, but don’t dare think all the “racism” and “victimization” that their children are exposed to somehow makes it harder to teach them. They expect public school teachers (some of the dullest people to emerge from the university system), to create academic masterpieces of children whose communities and family have broken them. These schools are supposed to somehow, miraculously, override the dysfunction in 6 hours of a 24 hour day. These kids are harder to teach not because of some sinister force out there, but because they start out largely behind the eight ball due to their own parents.

The state of Florida was clueless if they didn’t recognize that their politically incorrect strategy was controversial. I however, am not prepared to denounce them just yet. Not because I buy into the pseudoscience of HBD which starts from a hypothesis based on the superiority of the one conducting the “impartial” study. No, I am willing to give the state of Florida a pass because they based their policy on the reality of the situation on the ground rather than lofty, politically correct notions of equality of outcomes.

My daughter had an interesting experience in one of her college classes recently. The point was to ascertain who was from among the most privileged groups. The students were lined up in the back of the room and were asked certain questions. For example: “If your parents took you to art museums, take one step forward. If you were raised with both parents throughout your entire childhood, step forward. If you’re parents were divorced, one step back. Never married, two steps back.”

When all was said and done, my daughter was at the front of the class, with the only person ahead of her being a white male whose parents earned six figures. The student in the very back was a black male. The class (like most classes at expensive liberal arts colleges) is mostly white and female. I have never considered my kids privileged by any measure. Blessed, but not privileged. They are the product of two black parents from working class families.  This experiment was quite revealing.

The achievement gap isn’t about race alone, but about the intersection of class and race. FL could have just as easily have released goals that aimed to have 90% of the kids with a family income in the six figures to be at or above the math/reading level, 88% of kids with family income at or over $50K,  81% of those students with family incomes at or above $35K and 74% of   kids at poverty level to be at/above the math/reading level. The same level of controversy would have been generated while the racial breakdown would have been largely the same.

All children are capable of learning and being taught. The problem here is not one of racial superiority/inferiority. The problem is the deficit of truth, telling it like it is, and accountability.

Posted in: Education, Society