Putting Education Reform To The Test

Florida Students Talk About The State’s Race-Based Education Standards

Students and civil rights activists are still asking Florida to hold black and Hispanic students to a higher standard.

It’s been a little more than a year since the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County filed a federal civil rights complaint against the state’s race-based academic goals.

There have since been a number of protests by activists who oppose lower expectations for minorities.

But to understand how the race-based goals play out in the classroom, StateImpact Florida sat down with a panel of high school students to talk about the expectations:

We spoke with a panel of students about Florida's race-based education goals.

Sammy Mack / StateImpact Florida

We spoke with a panel of students about Florida's race-based education goals.

This conversation was part of a special education hour of the Sunshine Economy with our partners at WLRN. You can hear the rest of that hour here:

Also in this edition of The Sunshine Economy:

The school year may be over, but the next chapter in public education begins in the fall: Common Core State Standards.

However, Florida public school kids won’t follow Common Core, at least not in name. The state has dubbed the standards “Florida Standards.” Still, the principles of Common Core remain: more rigorous education standards to better prepare students for college and careers.

The employment stakes of education are huge. In May, the U.S. job market marked a milestone. The number of jobs created since the recession ended is now equal to the number of jobs lost during the economic collapse. But the recovery is lumpy to say the least. The job gains are concentrated among those with at least some college education. The number of people who have solely a high school diploma or less and a job remains well below what it was before the recession.

Employment is just one of the economic issues around education – so is equality.

It’s been 60 years since the Supreme Court ordered school desegregation. More than a half century after the landmark Brown versus the Board of Education decision, some South Florida classrooms remain “isolated.” The Miami Herald found that the student body at almost half of Miami-Dade County schools – traditional and charter – is comprised of 85 percent of one racial group.


The Sunshine Economy series is sponsored by Kaufman Rossin and Companyone of Florida’s largest independent accounting firms.


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