From the day they set foot in kindergarten, black children in Pinellas County, Florida are not as ready for school as their peers
Thomas C. Tobin:
District lawyers will use the study to defend against a lawsuit alleging the school system has failed to give black students a "high-quality" education, in violation of the Florida Constitution and state law.
The lawsuit points to the achievement gap, which in Pinellas has black students trailing white students by 20 to 40 percentage points on reading and math test scores.
"Whatever is causing the gap, it, by definition, is something that happened to these children before they set foot in a Pinellas County School," lawyer Michael W. Kirk told the School Board on Thursday. Kirk, of Washington, D.C., is helping defend the district.
Noting that other Florida districts report a similar-size gap, the study also found that Pinellas "does not appear to be systematically contributing to" the problem.
Suing to Close the Achievement Gap
Black-white gap: Whose fault?
NCLB LAW FAILS TO RAISE BLACK ACHIEVEMENT