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Near and Far

November 14, 2012

I almost called this Wednesday WTF but I thought that would be too gimmicky. It would be, right? The name fits though. Keep reading and you’ll see why.

Near:

Florida, the state where I live, (I just typed “The state where I leave.” We’re calling that wishful typing.)  has decided to differentiate educational expectations. What are they basing those differences on? Guess.

Race. Of course they fucking are.

Let me pause for a moment and marvel at the fact that the state of Florida, which is currently conducting an investigation on how motherfucking lines function is allowed to set educational standards for anything at all ever. Does that disturb anyone else? It really, honestly should.

But back to the point. Black and Latino students in Florida are being held to a lower standard than white and Asian students. According to the State Board of Education this is not at all racist but instead,

The Florida Department of Education explained that the policy doesn’t attempt to lower expectations for some racial groups, but simply acknowledges the fact that not everyone begins their education equipped with the same set of tools. The goals set out by the new policy are very ambitious for all races, but are tempered with realism.

The policy is an acknowledgment that due to the achievement gap between black and Hispanic students and their white and Asian peers, they would have a much higher mountain to climb to meet achievement metrics that were uniform across all racial and ethnic groups. Last year, for example, while 69% of white students tested at grade level on the reading FCAT, less than 40% of black students met the same standard. While the picture isn’t as bleak for Hispanic kids, of whom 53% were at grade level, they still lag their white classmates by more than 15%.

In addition, State Board of Education Chairwoman Kathleen Shanahan said that setting goals for different subgroups was needed to comply with terms of a waiver that Florida and 32 other states have from some provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. These waivers were used to make the states independent from some federal regulations.

Someone may have to fact check me on this but I always thought that the function of a system of education was to provide the tools to make up for any deficiencies or disadvantages a student may face and, you know, possibly educate them.

Let me make this clear. If any individual or group sets educational standards based on race, THAT IS FUCKING RACIST.

Even more so, it is a total abrogation of the responsibility of educators. I don’t think that anyone can deny that, in broad, general terms, the poor have a more difficult time educationally. Isn’t that why we have educational facilities?

Far:

Hey remember Uganda? I mean, I hope you recall that such a nation exists in general, but remember how they were going to pass a law a year or so ago, that would make the penalty for homosexuality death? The death penalty has been dropped from the bill after massive international outcry against, well, killing people for being gay and stuff. According to the Ugandan government the outcry had nothing to do with it and the timing was totally a coincidence.

Things went quiet on this issue for a while but in an effort to give the people of Uganda a “Christmas gift,” Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati reasserted the legislation. Merry fucking Christmas! the Prince of Peace is born! Bring out your gays! We’re not going to kill them, we’re just going to imprison them for life because that is somehow better.

P.S. Dear The Whole World, A resignation is not, in fact, a barrier to a congressional fucking subpoena. Stop it right now.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2012 6:34 PM

    Wow…I am totally speechless. I keep reading things about FL and it makes me sad to read it.
    I had read about Uganda before, but not the new insanity.. I agree with you…WTF. Oh my. I am beginning to think the world is going nuts more and more each day. It makes me plain sad.

  2. November 14, 2012 6:40 PM

    Just when you think it can’t get any more blindingly stupidly offensive…

  3. November 14, 2012 6:59 PM

    I live in Florida. There is never a moment they can’t get more blindingly, stupidly offensive. But here’s the thing, this is a fight we can win if we get the word out and talk about this. The BEST defense against this kind of racism is to throw light on it and then practice the art of the follow up question.

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