Sunday, October 21, 2012

Black Kids and School: Like Oil and Water

Sometimes I think I live in a parallel universe.  Sometimes I wake up, check my iPad, iPod, then my Blackberry, struggle over to my computer to check what's going on in my blogosphere, then realize I'm still in a dream and it's 1953 and I'm in Arkansas.  How can you not when you've got stories of what's going on in Florida and their education system?

Long story short.  Florida has decided that it wants,

90% of Asian students
88% of White students
81% of Hispanic students
74% of Black students

reading well by 2018.  Yes, it wants 74% of its Black students and 90% of its Asian students reading "well" by 2018.  Not above and beyond, but "well".  I'm no rocket scientist, but I think there's a tad bit - just a tad - of racism involved when you only expect three quartres of Black kids to be reading well.  This is R.E.A.D.I.N.G. people.  One 100 per cent of all students should be reading well. 

Reading in 2012 is like breathing.  And for all the historians out there, wasn't there a policy against slaves being able to read?  Why was that?

People talk about Obama coming in and the US living in a post-racial society?  Seriously?

What's even more troubling is that 40% of Black kids in Florida were at grade levels in math. 

Sidenote:  Why the hell is 40% the number of choice when it comes to Black kids and school?  Remember the 40% dropout rate for Blacks in schools in Ontario?

And please tell me that there isn't a direct correlation between these numbers and the kids that happen to go to university on these sports scholarships and don't end up graduating.

Case in point:

At Florida State (FSU), Arkansas, Texas A&M, USC, UCLA, North Carolina St., and Texas, less than 50% of its Black football players graduate.  Yes, less than 50%.  But check it, at Florida St. (at 44%) for example, 93% of its White players graduate.

That is a 49% difference. 

So let's say FSU is only recruiting kids out of Florida, and let's say they pick every single one of those 40% that graduate at grade levels in math (let's assume you need to be at grade level to graduate high school).  Less than half of those kids will end up getting a degree.

If we're working out of a number of 100, right off the bat, we only have 40 kids actually going to university (again, assuming every single one can play football), then less than half of those get degrees (in whatever the hell their degree is in), we're left with about 18 Black kids of 100 in Florida in a society that both Romney and Obama agree that you need a post-secondary education to survive.

Furthermore, the youth unemployment rate (16-24) in Florida was a 31.4% in 2011.  So let's cut a third from this 18 number, and we've got a rockin' 12 Black kids out of 100 that are in this "middle class" battle against China and binders full women (yes, I didn't take a gendered analysis, but this isn't a scholarly paper, it's a blog that one of my contributors is a talking dog).

What happens to the other 88%?


  1. Prison? Is that where they are? Or just out somewhere being lawless?

  2. Working on Obama's campaign. And building ships that planes can land on. And horses that can swim underwater.