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Some Claim The New A-F Education Standards Are Racist

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Some are criticizing the new A-F school report card system, saying a component of the new grading system is racist. The concern is that minority students are judged differently than their white peers.

In mid-December, the State Board of Education approved a new A-F report card system. One of the things that changed is that initially minority students have lower achievement targets than white students.

“It doesn’t sit well with a lot of people I talked to,” said Robert Ruiz, president of ChoiceMatters for Kids. “These are African-American Children who are in the middle class or upper class, but their expectation level is lower than a white child.”

Ruiz says one of his biggest concerns is the message this sends to teachers and ultimately students.

“When you set lower bars and lower expectations for people, when you communicate to somebody, you start believing that a child cannot learn or is less likely to learn or less likely to succeed because of the color of their skin. That’s inevitable that it’s going to flow down to the children.”

“It doesn’t meet my definition or threshold of racism,” countered Cecilia Robinson-Woods, the superintendent of Millwood School which is 97% African-American. She says the targets are simply a reflection of national data.

“The differences in between learners black, poor, rich, middle class, whatever, is different than learners that are white in whatever class. That’s just the National Achievement Gap data, that’s what it is.”

She points out however, that despite a different starting point, all educators are ultimately expected to close that achievement gap.

“It’s just acknowledging the differences in how different cultures learn. It’s just taking into account that everybody doesn’t show up the same.”

The legislature still has to vote on the new A-F system and the Governor has to approve it.

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