Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

With NCLB Waiver, Virginia Sorts Kids' Scores By Race

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the racism-as-practiced-by-idiots dept.

Education 622

According to a story at Northwest Public Radio, the state of Virginia's board of education has decided to institute different passing scores for standardized tests, based on the racial and cultural background of the students taking the test. Apparently the state has chosen to divide its student population into broad categories of black, white, Hispanic, and Asian — which takes painting with a rather broad brush, to put it mildly. From the article (there's an audio version linked as well): "As part of Virginia's waiver to opt out of mandates set out in the No Child Left Behind law, the state has created a controversial new set of education goals that are higher for white and Asian kids than for blacks, Latinos and students with disabilities. ... Here's what the Virginia state board of education actually did. It looked at students' test scores in reading and math and then proposed new passing rates. In math it set an acceptable passing rate at 82 percent for Asian students, 68 percent for whites, 52 percent for Latinos, 45 percent for blacks and 33 percent for kids with disabilities." (If officially determined group membership determines passing scores, why stop there?) Florida passed a similar measure last month.

cancel ×

622 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Embarassing day for whites (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41968685)

14 points behind Asians?!?!? For shame, fellow whities! Have we become so awful at educating our trailer trash that we've dropped so low?!?

I fear that unless we can find a way to tie moonshine and NASCAR to education somehow, we'll continue to remain second-class learners.

Re:Embarassing day for whites (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41968941)

Actually doing a good job and getting results is too hard. So instead we just lower the bar and pat ourselves on the back.

Remember: the purpose of education is to build self-esteem, and nothing else, for everyone involved (students, parents, administration, community, etc).

Re:Embarassing day for whites (4, Funny)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969009)

In math? Of COURSE you can find a way to tie moonshine (chemical solution calculus and analysis) and NASCAR (fuel consumption, speed, time and distance, centripetal force on a curve) to mathematics and science!

Re:Embarassing day for whites (4, Funny)

Tsingi (870990) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969345)

Quick.
How many grams in an ounce?

Re:Embarassing day for whites (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969389)

28-ish

Re:Embarassing day for whites (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969273)

I fear that unless we can find a way to tie tie moonshine NASCAR to education somehow, we'll continue to remain second-class learners.

Done. NASCAR Technician Training at UTI [uti.edu]

Moonshine is practically public domain. I'm sure you can find The Foxfire Book [moonshineheritage.com] at your public library.

After finishing the still, finishing the math PhD was the hardest thing I ever did.

You broke your little ships... (5, Funny)

alphatel (1450715) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968713)

My Asian children have become lazy Americans, so I have had them diagnosed with temporary learning disabilities.
Needless to say they are performing much better than their teachers expect of them, and have won countless awards for bravery in the face of their intellectual blight. Some parents even donate food - so now I don't have to pack any more lunches!

Re:You broke your little ships... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41968793)

This would be funny if it wasn't true.

Re:You broke your little ships... (4, Funny)

HexaByte (817350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968831)

Well, if I live in VA I would register my lily white children as black. That way, they get the benefit of the doubt. Aren't blacks always saying no one is pure?

Fortunately, I no longer live there, and some of my children are safely being schooled at home, the rest will be by next year. That way we can hold their standards even higher.

Re:You broke your little ships... (4, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969215)

Aren't blacks always saying no one is pure?

Blacks...and anybody with more than 3 brain cells. We are a very amorous species and will mate with anything regardless of race, color, or creed. In my family tree (to two generations) I have Western European, North African, Mexican, and good ole' Canadian. So, in summation: The only racial purity left is with the hopelessly inbred European royals, nobody is pure and that is a damned good thing for humanity as a whole.

Re:You broke your little ships... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969387)

We are a very amorous species and will mate with anything regardless of race, color, or creed.

We are a very amorous species and [some of us] will mate with anything regardless of race, color, or creed.

FTFY

And as a white parent who knows the realities ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41968877)

And as a white parent who knows the realities of today's World, I'll want my kid to be considered "Asian" so that he'll achieve and be better than his peers. Because let's face it, in today's World if you're not the Best of the best of the best of the best, you have very little chance of being more than Middle Class - unless you are in the "in" circle. Let's put it this way, you Middle Class slobs have an up-hill battle to keep your "lifestyle" compared to a Walton, Bush, Gates, Romney, Clinton, etc ....

Staying where your parents were, let alone upward mobility is gone in America.

And blame it on .....

No, not them.

No, not them either.

yes, Technology and Globalization.

Re:And as a white parent who knows the realities . (3, Insightful)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969307)

Staying where your parents were, let alone upward mobility is gone in America.

In what America was that ever true? For most, setting aside luck, regardless of what you do, the class you were born in is the class you die in. You might move a little upwards within your class, but it was rare to find someone in middle class breaking out into the upper class. They would never have allowed it. Even those of us with better incomes are 'nouveau' and are never truly accepted.

*different* scores for *standardized* tests (5, Insightful)

jerpyro (926071) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968777)

Thank you government for pointing us in the complete wrong direction. This is absolutely going to encourage racism.

Re:*different* scores for *standardized* tests (5, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968903)

Agreed. As someone who went through school with severe disabilities (bad vision, an odd hearing issue), and typically surpassed most/all of his classmates, I find such reduction in standards to be idiotic, asinine and down-fucking-right insulting.

If I'm not good enough at something to compete in tests with someone who doesn't have my disabilities, with someone else from a more financially sound background, with someone who is Asian, then I shouldn't get the god damn job.

What next? Reduced vision test requirements for driving, for the visually imparfed? That's just what the world needs, me behind the wheel.

Re:*different* scores for *standardized* tests (5, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968931)

Thank you government for pointing us in the complete wrong direction. This is absolutely going to encourage racism.

Encourage racism? It is racism.

But then racism was always OK as long as it's anti-white.

Re:*different* scores for *standardized* tests (5, Insightful)

jerpyro (926071) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969039)

Just wait until the teachers start grading on a curve and a black kid suffers social consequences because he got an A with a 75% and a white kid got a C with a 75%. Or someone who applies to a job and a "Latino 4.0" is considered substandard to an "Asian 2.0" -- any way you slice it the implications of this are outrageous.

Re:*different* scores for *standardized* tests (4, Insightful)

slim (1652) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969043)

But then racism was always OK as long as it's anti-white.

Is this anti-white because blacks need lower marks, or anti-white because Asians need higher marks?

Or could it be that it's just inherently racist in general?

Re:*different* scores for *standardized* tests (4, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969251)

Arguably it isnt the proposed race-based grading standards that is racist, but instead the myriad of reasons why it might be necessary.

What are you going to do if someones culture really does have a significant measurable impact on their learning performance? Tell them that their culture sucks?

This very may well be the least racist solution to the problem that can be implemented by the schools. Of course, the best solution would happen at home, but apparently thats not on the table.

Why Do You See This as Anti-White? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969201)

Encourage racism? It is racism.

When I was a kid, I used to think that racism didn't happen. It was so illogical and obviously wrong. Even books that portrayed racism that "just was" in my countries past seemed to be set with an alien mentality. But then as I grew older I was exposed works like "American History X" (the son's descent into racism had flawed but plausible logic behind it) and it slowly dawned on me that there are experiences in life that encourage racism that are far more detrimental than simply being racist. Because they propagate it and it survives past the last generation on and on and anew again.

For example, let's say you were (and this is purely hypothetical by the way) beaten and mugged by Hispanics which led you to distrust any person even remotely resembling your attackers. It's wrong for you to scream at your housemaid that was paid to clean your house by your cleaning company. And it's wrong for you to call them up and hurl racial slurs at them for putting your life and property in danger. However, the really problematic aspect of that is when you sit down with your progeny when they're little and explain to them why people with a certain color to their skin are not to be trusted. This is something that encourages racism instead of just being racist.

But then racism was always OK as long as it's anti-white.

Well, I didn't really read this as anti-white. I saw this as actually racist towards all races since they are binning these young minds based on external appearances. Instead of trying to buck a trend, they have embraced it. To shed this discussion of your "it's anti-white" bias, allow me to relay what I see as being the real fallout from this action: an obsessive Asian student scores 100 on this test but an African American child scores 65 and is seen as being more successful than the Asian student. This allows students to progress on the path of education and causes resentment from the Asian child directed at the African American child. "They got it easy" will probably be the sentiment but could spawn a deep seated hatred or other negative stereotypes of their classmates. No need to bring Caucasian students in to that picture or claim it's just "anti-white."

Could you explain and give examples of racism that is okay because it's "anti-white"?

Re:Why Do You See This as Anti-White? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969323)

allow me to relay what I see as being the real fallout from this action: an obsessive Asian student scores 100 on this test but an African American child scores 65 and is seen as being more successful than the Asian student. This allows students to progress on the path of education and causes resentment from the Asian child directed at the African American child.

It also implicitly tells that same black kid that he's not expected to be as smart as his white or Asian classmates, because being black is a natural handicap. Imagine what that does to the poor kid.

Re:*different* scores for *standardized* tests (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969235)

But then racism was always OK as long as it's anti-white.

This racisim is not just anti-white, it's clearly anti-minority. You devalue the diploma of every non-asian student with this kind of system. It doesn't matter if a black kid makes 98%, employers will see he's black, and assume he passed because standards were lower for him.

Re:*different* scores for *standardized* tests (2)

saihung (19097) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969297)

Actually it's more anti-Asian than anything else. You are forcing Asian students to work far harder than any of their peers to achieve the same results.

Re:*different* scores for *standardized* tests (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969377)

Stupid boy.

This is racist against everyone, stop acting like you're the only victim.

Re:*different* scores for *standardized* tests (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969379)

But then racism was always OK as long as it's anti-white.

Umm, if anything, this is anti-Asian-American, since it holds Asian-American kids to the highest standards solely because other Asian-American kids have performed well on tests.

Re:*different* scores for *standardized* tests (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969393)

How is this anti-white?

Re:*different* scores for *standardized* tests (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969261)

Yup, think what it'll do to the hiring process.

Re:*different* scores for *standardized* tests (-1, Flamebait)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969295)

No it isn't. It's just making sure that blacks stay in their proper place with a lowered education more suitable to plantation and, in contemporary society, McDonalds drive-thru work. They don't need high standardized test scores because they don't need to be all that smart to keep their place in society. Do you expect them to be kept to the standards of their betters of higher-class white men? Do you know how unfair that is? Why don't we make you get a Ph.D. in astrophysics for your white collar sales job with IBM and then maybe you'll see a little clearer how we shouldn't tax the inferior negro brain, hmm?

Re:*different* scores for *standardized* tests (1, Interesting)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969363)

How will this encourage racism? Are we to think all races learn all subjects equally in school? How about men and women's learning abilities and aptitudes? What about athletics, are we all the same there as well? The truth is, we're all a little different, either through genetics or through culture and environment, and we need to stop yelling "it's racism" and instead look at how we're different. We should emphasize our strengths while working to improve our weaknesses.

I think a good first step is to encourage and promote how cool it is to know stuff, to not have to Google every fact, and to stop glamorizing actors, actresses, musicians, athletes, etc. My in-laws are first generation (South) Korean-Americans and their children are pushed to learn and study so much more than I was and I consider myself to have been motivated to learn when I was growing up (I read a TON of non-fiction).

This problem is primarily a cultural problem with a few contributing factors such as teachers abilities, unions, etc. I think funding is a minor issue as funding does not equate to schools with high performing students.

breathtaking discrimination... (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968779)

and hypocrisy (more equal???). Orwell's administrator characters would be proud.

"Florida passed a similar measure last month." (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41968797)

If Florida thinks it is good, that's a good enough reason to take a 2nd look at it.

Eeeyow... when is the last time Florida did anything right?

Re:"Florida passed a similar measure last month." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41968827)

Where's that picture of Bugs Bunny cutting the Florida border with a handsaw so that it can drift off to sea, again?

Sooo.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41968805)

So is the government saying that Asians are in fact better at math then us pale guys? I'm pretty good at math...

Re:Sooo.... (1)

1s44c (552956) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968965)

So is the government saying that Asians are in fact better at math then us pale guys? I'm pretty good at math...

Plus they taught you pretty good English in that Chinese school you went to in China.

Discrimination (1)

Scott Swezey (678347) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968819)

It's not often that I like people talking about whites being discriminated against, but in this case I do feel especially bad for Asian's and Whites given the higher requirement for them. As a student who went through school doing the least amount I could while still being able to graduate, I would have been very upset needing higher/lower test scores just because I had the (mis)fortune of being born into a certain family/race. On the flip side, this is a slap in the face to the idea of anyone becoming whatever they work for. To me, this conjurers ideas that Latino's and blacks either can't go as high, or should expect to get what they want for doing less work than others... both of which are obviously untrue.

Re:Discrimination (5, Insightful)

3vi1 (544505) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968985)

>> but in this case I do feel especially bad for Asian's and Whites given the higher requirement for them.

You've got it backwards: Feel bad for the other races, who won't be pushed to excel to the same level and will therefore be stuck in menial low-pay jobs for the rest of their lives.

Re:Discrimination (1)

Scott Swezey (678347) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969111)

I did address this at the end of my comment.

>> On the flip side, this is a slap in the face to the idea of anyone becoming whatever they work for. To me, this conjurers ideas that Latino's and blacks either can't go
>> as high, or should expect to get what they want for doing less work than others... both of which are obviously untrue.

Re:Discrimination (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969159)

Feel bad for the other races, who won't be pushed to excel to the same level and will therefore be stuck in menial low-pay jobs for the rest of their lives.

But, isn't that what the right wants? To protect America for wealthy white folks to have visible minorities as the hired help? God created America so that whitey could prosper, right?

Why, in a free market, if they wanted a better education, they could work harder and pay for it. If they can't work harder to pay for it, well, that justifies relegating them to the lower paying jobs in the first place.

Clearly we expect the Asians to work hard and do all of the mental heavy lifting, and someone needs to work in kitchens and other shit jobs.

And, besides, everybody knows the browner your skin, the stupider you are, right?

END SARCASM

Re:Discrimination (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969155)

On the contrary, this is in their favor. The value of an education to a future employer will correlate with how difficult it is to pass; if one candidate was held to a higher standard than another during their education; that candidate is more likely to get a higher paying job.

(The entire policy is idiotic, of course, but that's Virginia and Florida for you.)

Offensive (5, Insightful)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968833)

Passing should be the same for everyone, how long did we have racial profiling laws that made it impossible for equality to exist, now in one move Virginia wants to completely defeat that. If there going to profile kids based of there race do they also seat kids based off there skin color, black kids at the back, Asian's at the front so they can answer the question more easily, whites in the middle to be forgotten and average and Hispanics where ever? Same idea just a different spin, this entire concept is offensive and unethical.

Re:Offensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41968939)

In what substantive way is this different than affirmative action?

Re:Offensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41968997)

This is math.

This is math at a level anybody can attain and the education is provided.

We can effectively prove there is no racial bias in the grades that is not germain.

The claim is equivalent to blacks are unintelligent.

Re:Offensive (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969033)

And in a few years when applying for jobs: "oh, you got an A? Good job. But it's a Black A, not an Asian A. So I'm going to call it a C. I'm sorry, but you don't qualify for this job".

Re:Offensive (5, Funny)

dintech (998802) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969059)

I think also in Basketball, any basket scored by a white kid should be worth 4 points and if an asian kid scores, it should be worth 6.

Re:Offensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969219)

Hello there, young white man. Your grammar indicates that you are the perfect candidate for our new scoring system. We encourage you to nag your parents to move to Virginia for a more appropriate education.

What about kids with multiple races? (2)

agallagh42 (301559) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968863)

I just did the math. My son is 43.75% white (UK ancestry), 6.25% Mohawk, and 50% Chinese. How would Virginia deal with him? Maybe it's a good thing we live in Canada...

Re:What about kids with multiple races? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969003)

back-of-the-envelope calculations indicate a passing grade for him would be a 75.

Re:What about kids with multiple races? (5, Funny)

HexaByte (817350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969287)

Wait a minute - I need to know what race you are so I can see how accurate your

back-of-the-envelope calculations

are.

Re:What about kids with multiple races? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969081)

Your kid is 100% East African, just like everyone else.

Re:What about kids with multiple races? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969087)

I just did the math. My son is 43.75% white (UK ancestry), 6.25% Mohawk, and 50% Chinese. How would Virginia deal with him?

"Show me your papers Kafa! " ~ The line to apartheid is very thin under such conditions.

They should watch a movie _Stand and Deliver_ (4, Interesting)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968873)

before (instead) of doing something so foolish:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094027/ [imdb.com]

Its simple.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41968881)

raise asians to design the high tech machines
have latinos and blacks build them
have whites manage the project and profit off the products.

Ugh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41968895)

Oh, awesome, now they can focus even less on making sure minorities and the disabled achieve a level of succes equitable with the priveleged.

Missing the problem. (2)

LaminatorX (410794) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968899)

Why on earth did they choose to do this based on race rather than poverty?

Re:Missing the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41968989)

While it is true socio-economic issues play a tremendous role, there is still an achievement gap between comparable white and black students even in high achieving areas.

Re:Missing the problem. (2)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969011)

The problem is neither, it is cultural. The rankings they are using seem to correlate with the emphasis each group places on education.

Re:Missing the problem. (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969403)

The correlation with income is considerably larger.

Re:Missing the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969057)

This is Virginia, remember. That area of the country IS a bit stupid, horribly impatient, and fatally stubborn. Through much embarrassing trial and error, they discovered that it's hard to reliably identify someone's financial standing at first glance, and taking the time to figure out such information about someone takes tiiiiiiiime, and they don't waaaaannaaaaaaa do that. So, they reasoned, it's much easier to identify a person's race at first glance, solving all the problems with basing it off of poverty. Problem solved! That's Virginia social engineering right there!

Re:Missing the problem. (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969157)

Because it's Virginia, where the the primary cause of poverty and predictor of success IS race (since those that have the money don't have the brains to judge people on merit).

Re:Missing the problem. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969165)

I recall reading about a black woman visiting the US, and being stopped by the police as she drove through one town. The officer asked her to show her license, but then as soon as he heard her reply in a well educated british accent, he said "Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were black."

Perhaps some similar thinking is happening here. A confusion of skin colour with culture?

good, very good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41968901)

Now to get employers on board...

Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41968919)

This is one of the most racist things I've seen in a long time.

Can we just kick everyone in favor of this off my planet?

FL vs VA (2)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968949)

Florida appears to have set the passing rate (and not the passing scores) differently (per TFA); while VA simple set different passing scores.

The end result may well be VA has a very high rate of students scoring at the desired level while masking true achievement while FL provides a more representative picture of true outcomes.

Standardized test issues aside; until we decide to educate our kids and address underlying cause of poor performance - including health / nutrition / access to quality schools we'll always have pockets of excellence and achievement deserts.

What I'd like to see is the results from poor majority white school districts in poverty stricken areas of VA - how will they explain those results?

Re:FL vs VA (5, Interesting)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969169)

Florida appears to have set the passing rate (and not the passing scores) differently (per TFA); while VA simple set different passing scores.

No, Virginia didn't. The shitty summary just made it look like they did.

Another ref, besides TFA: [Citation] [dailypress.com]

The new standards still require every student, regardless of background, to correctly answer the same number of questions to pass SOL tests.

For example, every student who takes the third-grade math exam must answer correctly 23 of 35 questions to pass, no matter their race or background. ...
The state did set new pass rates, or goals for how many students in each group pass each exam.

Using the same example of the third-grade math test: the state goal is for 45 percent of black students to answer 23 of 35 items correctly and for 82 percent of Asian students to answer 23 of 35 items correctly.

It's still stupid, ignorant, and racist as all get-out (redundancy noted), but black students won't be getting "C" grades for 45% scores.

Re:FL vs VA (2)

j-beda (85386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969351)

Florida appears to have set the passing rate (and not the passing scores) differently (per TFA); while VA simple set different passing scores.

No, Virginia didn't. The shitty summary just made it look like they did.

Another ref, besides TFA: [Citation] [dailypress.com]

The new standards still require every student, regardless of background, to correctly answer the same number of questions to pass SOL tests.

For example, every student who takes the third-grade math exam must answer correctly 23 of 35 questions to pass, no matter their race or background. ...
The state did set new pass rates, or goals for how many students in each group pass each exam.

Using the same example of the third-grade math test: the state goal is for 45 percent of black students to answer 23 of 35 items correctly and for 82 percent of Asian students to answer 23 of 35 items correctly.

It's still stupid, ignorant, and racist as all get-out (redundancy noted), but black students won't be getting "C" grades for 45% scores.

The overall idea of setting achievable goals (we will be "doing well" if x% of our worst scoring students in year 1 reach a certain goal in year 2) is probably a good one. Tracking where your students are staring from and comparing it to where they end up is useful. Using racial information as a proxy for measurements of starting level might be simple, quick, and heck, it could even be statistically accurate, but as a policy it is pretty short sighted.

idiot government (4, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968953)

Test scores have little to do with genetic differences between races. It is about culture and upbringing.
To set different standards only encourages the status quo for a group. Be it hyper achievement (Asians), mediocrity (whites), or under achievement (for the rest). Groups be challenged to rise above culture and conditioning.

What Are we trying to Achieve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969317)

The real issue here isn't yet being discussed in the postings until now: That is different groups really are doing differently (Wow - They really are different!) and how do we deal with that. If you set graduation or other goals based upon an arbitrary number. (Pick it yourself if you don't like these) and then set it in stone so to speak, then you will gate out the lower performers from graduation etc. Obvious consequences apply. The State of Virginia is terrified of the consequences where Blacks for example largely fall out of the system. So they set their progress goals low. They know the Chinese kids are high performing so they set their goals high. Is this fair? Obviously not. Is it practical. Probably! Does it have problems, YES! Does it have consequences, YES!

Now here is the problem. If you allow people for any reason to pass below the arbitrary standard numbers, then you devalue the standard and the diploma. You hurt everyone including your high performers. If you slap in a hard standard, you will definitely seive out the lower performing groups.

Of course the US Consitution has a simple answer: It requires "Equal Protection Under Law." It means you peg your standard and let the chips fall where they may. That of course rubs the social thinkers the wrong way. They argue quite validly that the tests are imperfect. Of course they never argue to improve the tests, they just don't want tests at all. Illogical as it may seem they destroy all value to a diploma in the argument that everyone should have curved access grading.

Government discrimination (1)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968955)

As usual the actual discrimination comes from government.

the state of Virginia's board of education has decided to institute different passing scores for standardized tests, based on the racial and cultural background of the students taking the test.

- so how do they figure if you are a white or a black or an Asian or have a disability?

Is it self reporting? Because if it is, everybody should report themselves as a mix of Native American and shade of slavery black, with a number of disabilities, who is also a gay transsexual transvestite communist ex-female ex-male and then ex-female again. How are they going to check and what can they check for exactly in a legal manner?

With that sort of background you should be able not just to pass any exam without even showing up, but they will have to give you two Asians and a white guy just for you to beat on a daily basis and work for you because you deserve it.

Misleading Headline: Rates not Scores (5, Informative)

devnullkac (223246) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968979)

The headline is misleading. The actual pass/fail line for each student is unchanged. The state is changing what it considers an acceptable aggregate rate of passing for groups of students, choosing race as the criterion for grouping. The stated rationale is that students of different races have different starting points, so it makes sense to seek different final achievement levels. But even if you accept that approach, it seems lazy to use race as a surrogate for academic starting point.

It's about the administrators not the kids (1)

Fox_1 (128616) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969005)

So having read the article near as I can tell schools are 'scored' based upon their students test scores. Schools with predominately asian students do well, schools with predominately black students don't, and whites and hispanics fill the middle.
The school system has decided to change how those scores are calculated based upon the race of the students. So that now all those schools that were lower performing can use the lower standards for the black students to bring up their scores.


In one sense I could almost see schools competing for black enrollment so that their score goes up, but that is about the only positive thing about this law. And not likely to happen.
The reality is that instead of using those metrics to identify schools that are failing their students and local community, so that funding or corrective action can be taken, the system has decided to skew the numbers to bury the problem. I'm pretty sure based upon recent events it's clear that skewing numbers to make things look better leads to a lot of wishful thinking but nothing concrete. To actually address the problems is harder work, and potentially more embarassing to the administrators than it is to blame the kids. Never mind how incredibly ignorant and insulting their approach is.
Again, it's about the administrators, not about the kids.

Sorting VA & FL school board members by race (1)

Burz (138833) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969007)

...would be pretty interesting after enacting a policy like that. I have a sinking feeling its yet another example of white culture/identity jumping the shark.

Not Separate and Not Equal? (2)

Tangential (266113) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969013)

Interesting. There was much (justifiable) criticism leveled 50-60 years ago at the whole "Separate but Equal" approach.

Odd that "Not Separate but Not Equal" wouldn't generate just as much criticism.

Teaching not testing (1)

Turksarama (2666917) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969019)

wouldn't it make more sense to give extra attention to students with a background disadvantage rather than moving the bar? Letting kids pass with a lower score doesn't actually make them more educated.

Re:Teaching not testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969121)

No.

get ready for racism at the workplace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969021)

So white people have the upper hand in the hiring process. This should turn out great.

Re:get ready for racism at the workplace (1)

Revotron (1115029) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969073)

So Asian people have the upper hand in the hiring process. This should turn out great.

FTFY.

Employment... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969023)

This is horrible. This means that employers will have a good reason to hire Asians primarily and not hire the other ethnicity that are held to a lower standard.

Back to the past.. (1)

TigerPlish (174064) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969025)

Why is it a certain segment of the US population thinks it's still the 1800's or the first 3 quarters of the 1900's?

Other than that thought, this news has left me speechless.

Re:Back to the past.. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969397)

Why is it a certain segment of the US population thinks it's still the 1800's or the first 3 quarters of the 1900's?

There is a certain temporal discontinuity when you think the entire friggin Universe is only 6000 years old.

Not individual rates.. (1)

mozumder (178398) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969065)

It looks like these rate are for the each groups over the entire state, at least according to my interpretation of the article? In that case, demographic factors already skews grades over entire segments, and this is recognition of that. I bet they eventually divide subgroups further - sex, wealth, geography, distance from school, class sizes, etc.

Not sure if this is right or wrong, but in my view if you want to improve an overall group, you find its strongest & weakest members, figure out why they are that way, apply fixes, and repeat in an engineering feedback loop.

Or Virginia could entirely be racist.. dunno from the article.

Good intentions, bad implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969097)

They're trying to set a baseline against which they can measure progress, and they're trying to avoid setting the bar too low for students who are already doing well and too high for students who are falling behind. That part seems reasonable.

Using race to group students doesn't.

Computer Skillz (1)

mounthood (993037) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969101)

What are passing scores for users of Windows/Mac/Linux/BSD? What about programmers of C/Python/Java/PHP/Basic?

Stupidest idea I have heard in a while... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969119)

First, how does categorizing scores by race not violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment? Second, isn't it amazing how Virginia's Board of Education can oversimplify the complex issues surrounding why there might be a difference in scores between the races, stuff like unemployment, the fact that even when they have jobs, many minorities earn less in the same positions held by their white counterparts and are promoted less often, economic segregation, etc and just focus on lowering standards... so that no doubt in years to come they can criticize these same kids for not meeting the higher standards. Classic!

Opposite effect (2)

darronb (217897) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969127)

Let's just ignore the whole discrimination problem here and ask simply:

Doesn't this remove a lot of the incentive for the lower threshold students to catch up? Wouldn't it demoralize the students with the higher threshold?

This is simply rigging the statistics to hide the problem. It will create many more problems than the one it attempts to cover up.

Racist pigs comes to mind (-1, Flamebait)

tp1024 (2409684) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969131)

Why isn't this even surprising?

The two american parties have long been to the very far right of European politics, with the Republicans being perfectly incapable of being a lawful party following the German constitution. From this point of view, Americans had the choice between Protofascists on the one hand and radical Nationalists on the other - with no realistic third alternative.

This kind of law is nothing but racist discrimination truely worthy of the apartheid regime the US still was under John F. Kennedy and a few presidents after and all before him. What else does it take to knock sense into Americans, to look into the mirror and see what they have become?

Now make up your mind whether this is "overrated", "troll" or "flamebait".

End of the "blank slate" (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969141)

For the last 70 years, we've been operating on the "blank slate" principle that all people are equal in ability.

This legislation seems to reverse course, and argue for paternalism, or the idea that certain favored races should help the others at their own expense (nasty catch: in exchange for those races playing by the favored races' rules).

It's an interesting turn of events, but I think it's going to backfire. It's condescending, even if it "means well," because it essentially tells certain races that they're not good enough, but just because we, the races perceived to be in control, are generous, we'll help them be almost as equal as we are.

What about mixed-race kids? (4, Funny)

wcrowe (94389) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969171)

What if Tiger Woods went to school in Virginia? Is his passing rate 68% or 45%?

And when he plays golf, is the hole a par-3 or par-5?

Goodbye America (4, Insightful)

neither_geek_nor_ner (1002460) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969173)

Evolution not to be taught, rape victims can control pregnancy by mind control, different standards for different races..... America doesn't need external enemies... they have enough idiots in the country who are doing a better job at destroying it!

Best predictor is not race, but parental educ. (4, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969191)

The best predictor for educational/academic success is not race. It is the level of education of the parents. Usually parents' educational achievement is correlated with income and wealth too. (correlated, that is all. No inference on the direction of causation). Level of education of parents is also correlated with race. With so many cross correlation it takes some serious study to understand the causation, and the feedback loop.

I think the students would be better served if a relative ranking within their own "class" is tabulated. A student can belong to more than one class. One by race, another by level of income, and another by level of parents' education etc. Again instead of messing around with pass/fail for the students, this correlation should be used to judge teachers. All teachers do not get uniform quality input. Then it is wrong to judge them by the raw educational achievements of their students. These correlations can be used to identify the good teachers and the bad teachers.

This isn't news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969225)

C'mon. Watch a few minutes of BET or spend an hour at the *bad* Walmart on the other side of town. Does it really surprise anyone that the bulk of the "brothers" barely outscore retards?

I consider many left-wingers to be utterly mad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969231)

And this is an example.

Godwin's law invoked by reference in summary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969237)

From one of the links in the article as it existed a few minutes ago [wikipedia.org] :

Countries legislating limitations on the admission of Jewish students: ... Germany: On 25 April 1933 ....

So by including this link in the article and thereby invoking Godwin's Law and its corollaries [wikipedia.org] by reference, does this mean the discussion ended before it began?

Affirmative action (1)

chris200x9 (2591231) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969239)

Isn't this just affirmative action? AFAIK passing standardized test just tells the state to give your school funds, how much money you get is dependent on your pass rate. So isn't this basically just boosting the pass rate in schools with higher numbers of minorities thus giving those schools more funds?

I thought that was normal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969263)

I thought that they did this since the dawn of standardized tests. I remember filling out the race section on it, and seeing the scores published at a later date categorized by race.

They're doing it wrong (5, Funny)

Swave An deBwoner (907414) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969293)

They screwed it up.

They shouldn't be classifying the kids into "racial" categories first and then setting grade requirements; that's silly.

They should assign the kids to racial categories based on their test scores instead.

What a terrible way to ensure working schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969339)

"...In math it set an acceptable passing rate at 82 percent for Asian students, 68 percent for whites, 52 percent for Latinos, 45 percent for blacks and 33 percent for kids with disabilities."

So now we have a "justified" means of passing the buck when a kid fails. Didn't really pass? We didn't expect you to, now it is someone else's problem. This absolutely ensures that kids who really fail will receive no tutoring, no help.

When you set these markers as goals for improvement, expect the results to be less than stellar, teaching to the test only worse. You will now have "marked" improvement in schools where only 50% of the black population passes a standard math test, because, hey only 45% passed before.

Congrats all around.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41969357)

I have to get a higher grade to pass than those black kids?
I knew they were getting a free ride! Sumbich... Why... i'm going to have to treat them like shit the rest of my life to make it fair!

And it will be valid.... I thought we were trying to get rid of racisim? Not give valid reasons why it does and should exist.
Hey virginia... YOU'RE NOT HELPING!

Where it starts (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969361)

I'm not an educator and only worked in a high school a couple years, so I'm no expert. But IMO the problem with the system is these mediocre standards. And, kids who aren't cutting the mustard aren't held back, they're just pushed along to the next grade where they can slow up everyone else. We've got kids graduating high school who can barely read because no one ever wanted to hold them back until they "got it." That in turn slows down education at higher levels.

I don't know about your experiences, but I found that I wasn't at all prepared for the rigor of college studies coming from a high school where I could basically show up and get As and Bs.

How does business deal with this? (1)

HexaByte (817350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41969365)

How does business deal with this? Do they now get to have a new minimum wage standard: $8.20 /hr for Asians, $6.80 /hr for whites, $5.20 /hr for Latinos, $4.50 /hr for blacks and $3.30 /hr for kids with disabilities?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>