By Kevin Palmer
The Columbia County school district in Evans, Georgia is well known for its high achieving schools. Least well known is a subgroup of its student population is noticeably underachieving.
African American students comprise 23 percent of Columbia County’s high school population.
Therefore, it should be disturbing when the 2018 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) suggest the district has low academic expectations for its Black students.
For example, the 2018 CCRPI Content Mastery component addresses whether students are achieving at the level necessary to be prepared for the next grade, college or career.
This component includes scores and improvement targets in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. According to the report, education leaders have set low improvement targets for Black students which resulted in scores of D or F, while setting high improvement targets for White students resulting in scores of B or A.
This biased improvement targeting influences classroom teaching which suggests Black students are being led to underachieve. Indeed, in 2018, this could be one reason why Black high school students in Georgia had the lowest SAT mean score.