Damage control is underwayfrom the Florida Department of Education after their strategic vision for 2018 outlined a student's race as an indicator of success.

SEE ALSO: Race as an indicator of Florida student success?

"All students can learn and should reach proficiency, so that's the goal," said Education Commissioner Pam Stewart

But on what timeline?

Florida Commissioner Stewart says improving public education in the state will take time, and the Department of Education's strategic vision doesn't necessarily reflect how much.

The just released roadmap lays out the state's goals through 2018, which may not be long enough.

RELATED: Read the Florida State Board of Education's strategic plan

"None of our students are going to reach proficiency, none of our subgroups, none of our categories," she said.

SOCIAL: Read and take part in the Facebook discussion

Stewart said if the strategic vision was extended to 2023, every student, regardless of race would be at 100% proficiency.

As it stands, the vision calls for Asian students to have 90% proficiency in reading by 2018, but only 88% of white students, 81% of Hispanic students, and 74% of Black students are expected to reach the same goal.

"We feel it's very important to have these goals, to draw attention to where each of our subgroups are, so parents, and schools, and teachers can all focus on where we are, and where we need to be eventually," she said.

But setting different race-based expectations for students set off a firestorm in the state and the legislature.

The Democratic caucus called for a complete rewrite of the DOE's strategic plan, and in a statement said in part:

"An appropriate vision should focus on improving student performance across the board instead of one based on race and ethnicity. It is inappropriate to suggest, as the Board of Education has implied, that one race is academically inferior to another." - Rep. Perry Thurston

"But the commissioner stood by the report, and says by 2023, we'll be looking at a much different landscape in public education," said Stewart.

"What we measure is what improves, so if we want to focus on that and improve, it's important for us to pull that data out and in doing it we will close that achievement gap,' said Stewart.

If you want to let the Department of Education know how you feel about the new Strategic Vision, their phone number is (850) 245-0505.


Address: Turlington Building, Suite 1514
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399