John Young of the Transparent Christina blog commented on my Education Notes post from a few days ago noting that the First State is doing just what Florida was noted implementing in the post -- namely, measuring student progress by race:
So the U.S. Department of Education, through the waiver process, shifted the focus to closing achievement gaps between groups of at-risk students. And so while Handy and other critics are focusing on that end number—and how those numbers differ by race and ethnicity—it's important to look at the number at the beginning, and the resulting rate of growth. Those numbers also differ by race and ethnicity—but because they demand that schools show more growth in learning for the kids farthest behind.
In my example above from Delaware, the rate of growth for white students would be 12 percentage points, while the rate of growth for black students would be 26 points, and special education students would see 35 points of growth.
To me, this is mind-numbing. Not only is SES (socio-economic status) apparently ignored (a black student from a wealthy family would be expected to show more growth than a white student from a destitute background), but again we see so-called "progressives" clamoring to make more palatable the "message": "As the Center on Education Policy's Maria Ferguson told me, the problem is one of 'optics.' In other words, the messaging is problematic."
This is the conundrum "progressives" put themselves into. It's as I noted in my previous post: Remember -- "progressives" want you to consider skin color. That is, for anything with a positive connotation. It's "palatable" in this case to weigh students differently on their [academic] growth because, well, minority students apparently are "starting out behind." It's just head-scratching, then, that these same folks (the "progressives") cannot take into account that the same factors that cause these students to be behind academically are frequently the very same ones that result in disparate discipline stats in schools/districts. But in the latter case, schools/districts hold workshops that inform educators that their own latent, inherent racism is to blame, and our US Dept. of Education is going after districts for their racial "imbalance" of student discipline.Posted by Hube at October 18, 2012 05:15 PM | TrackBack