Putting Education Reform To The Test

Duval Schools Plan Also Included Race-Based Acheivement Goals

comedy_nose / Flickr

Duval County school board members criticized a state plan that sets different achievement goals for different races. But the board approved a local plan in August that also breaks out goals by race.

Duval County school board members are complaining about a state plan which sets differing academic targets by race, despite approving a similar plan in August the Florida Times-Union reports.

Duval County school board member Tommy Hazouri said the local plan targets were informational and not part of the district’s strategic plan.

Other board members said they were complying with federal rules:

W.C. Gentry said the state and federal government require the district to measure the achievement of the racial groups and so he didn’t object to setting goals by subgroup.

“My argument when we were doing this is that we really ought be talking about how were not setting sufficient goals for white kids,” he said. “By setting lower expectations for whites and having greater expectations for blacks are we being fair to white kids?”

White and Asian students are targeted for less percentage-point growth in the district’s document and they often are the two highest achieving subgroups as well. Gentry also said the real focus needs to be poverty.

Burney and Wright said they voted against the plan because of the racial targets, and because they felt those and the overall targets were not aggressive enough. Pratt-Dannals drew a distinction between aspirational targets, and accountable targets that he’ll use to hold principals responsible and even to make personnel decisions. The non-racial or subgroup targets in the August document are those accountable goals, he said.


About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »