State plan sets goals for students based on race, ethnicity

Published: Monday, October 22, 2012 at 10:20 AM.

Consider reading proficiency in Okaloosa County, for example. During last’s year FCAT 2.0, 74 percent of white students in grades three through ten were considered proficient, while only 48 percent of black students were reading at or above grade level.

A nearly identical gap existed between black and white students in Santa Rosa County and an even larger one in Walton County. The state average fell somewhere between the three local districts.

“Putting emphasis on different groups of children who are not doing well is nothing new,” said Carlene Anderson, the Superintendent of Walton County Schools. “…To say that every child is going to be proficient or better is to not deal with reality.”

The strategic plan, she said, is actually dealing with older legislation handed down in the No Child Left Behind Act, which called for districts to close the achievement gap.

This is just one more step towards that target, she said.

“You have to set goals for students that are realistic,” said Okaloosa County Superintendent Alexis Tibbetts. “There is no quick fix for this.”

It’s not news to anyone in education that discrepancies exist between subgroups whether looking at race or family income levels, both Tibbetts and Anderson said.

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