It’s a head-scratcher.
Virginia’s Board of Education recently opened itself to what National Public Radio reports as a “firestorm” of controversy for using race to determine different goals for students. Under this plan, Asian and white students are expected to pass standardized tests at higher rates than are Latinos, African-Americans and disabled students. So for instance, while Asians must score 82% in order to pass a math standardized exam, Latinos have a more modest 52% as a goal.
Here’s a handy little chart to see Virginia’s proposed pass rates in math:
|Acceptable Pass Rate|
These proposals in what constitutes acceptable passing rates have come out of a waiver for the restrictions on No Child Left Behind, and Virginia education officials defended the policy on the grounds that “students start at different points.” Virginia’s Superintendent of Education Patricia Wright stated that the more modest goals in passing rates will enable minority children to catch up.
Is this a realistic look at the achievement gap and a tool to address it, or is it a way to set of culture of low expectations for certain minority students? What do you think?Take a look at the NPR story here, and please comment below.