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There was a time in America when a black man was scandalously counted as three-fifths of a man for congressional apportionment.

(By the way, it was the Southern slave states that wanted blacks counted 100 percent for apportionment while northeasterners wanted them not to count at all. This was the compromise worked out.)

History is repeating itself in Florida and Virginia – and, I’m sure other states to come.

It’s not that Democrats don’t want to count black votes any more. In fact, they’d count them all twice if they could. Instead, mostly Democratic school officials in these states have created new academic goals that hold blacks to a lower standard than whites and Asians.

In other words, the so-called “progressives” running the education establishment in virtually every state as well as Washington don’t believe blacks are capable of achieving the same standards to which whites and Asians are held. That’s why I call “progressives” what they should accurately be called – “retrogressives.” Quite literally, on matters of race, they want to go back to the plantation mentality.

So performance goals are now curved on the basis of race – thanks to those politicians that blacks consider to be, for some reason, their friends.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Last week, the Florida state Board of Education approved a new six-year strategic plan with student-achievement goals that vary based upon race, income, disability and English proficiency. For example, Florida hopes to have 86 percent of white students at or above grade level in math, but for black students the goal is 74 percent.

This is insulting, degrading, counter-productive, unfair, racist, demeaning and hurtful to blacks.

That’s exactly what Jacksonville mom Dwan Johnson, an African-American, thought when she called the state’s action “embarrassing.”

“I don’t understand why they’d put Asian students above us,” Johnson said. “We all are learning the same things.”

Everyone understands the concept that expectations are important to achieving goals – even the misnamed “progressives.” That’s why there is no excuse for what they are doing – other than:

  • giving the retrogressive National Education Association lobby what it wants for its constituents (which are not students, by the way, but government employees);

  • keeping blacks as a class right where they are – a permanent underclass;
  • creating the appearance that government education is working when it clearly is not.

Here are the shocking statistics of how the system is failing blacks:

  • 38 percent of black students currently read at grade level;

  • Hispanics, 53 percent;
  • white students, 69 percent.

The new goals for those students in reading: for whites, 88 percent; for Hispanics, 81 percent; and 74 percent for black students.

What is the impact of such policies? Setting the expectations of blacks and Hispanics lower than whites. Worse yet, and unstated in all the coverage of this story, is the fact that the actual minimal goals for all students are less than what they should be. In Florida, the education establishment is giving itself 10 years to reach these pathetic goals.

Even among state Board of Education members there was dissent.

“I find differentiated race- or ethnicity-related academic goals very offensive, and they send the wrong signal to all Floridians,” board member John Padget wrote in an email. He is pressing for the new policy to be changed or dropped.

The rationalization for the change in policy is this: It’s about how teachers are evaluated. The retrogressive teachers union says its members who are charged with educating disproportionate members of black students are at a disadvantage. However, individual teachers should be evaluated on before-and-after progress – not top-down, statewide standard expectations.

For instance, if ninth-graders enter a class at a third-grade reading level and advance to a sixth-grade reading level, that is a real achievement.

When will American blacks look at actions like this and begin to comprehend that so-called “progressives,” personified as Democrats, are not their friends, not their champions, not committed to their advancement, not their political allies, not their liberators. Instead, they are their paternalistic oppressors and political exploiters.

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