Remember hearing about Virginia having different performance standards for students based on race and disability? Well, Florida has already adopted differing standards and (surprise!) the Sunshine State is also calling for a lower bar for black, hispanic and disabled students than is required for their white counterparts.

Are these moves by Virginia and Florida a cynical end-run around No Child Left Behind? Or is it a realistic look at where students of color often start, the ground they often need to make up, and a true interim solution (as it is claimed by these states) to educating all children to the same standards?

Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Leonard Pitts has something to say about these standards and the message it sends to kids of color. He’s worth quoting at length here: “… it burns — I tell you this from experience — to realize people have judged you by a lower standard, especially when you had the ability to meet the higher one all along.”

Read his full column here.



2 thoughts on “Leonard Pitts weighs in on the Virginia and Florida standards”

  1. I don’t know if I completely agree. It may not be the higher standards that is the problem, but rather the time limit of them. Some students take longer to learn different concepts, just as not all children learn to read at the exact same time. Why do we expect different in Mathematics?

  2. That is a good point, Hooda Math Games; shouldn’t all kids be looked at on a developmental continuum? FL and VA are setting proficiency standards based on a demographic rather than developmental scale. Pitts worries that this sets up a culture of low expectations for many.

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