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The Duval County school system deserves every ounce of negativity that surrounds it.

The Times Union thinks the school system itself does not deserve much of the negativity that surrounds it. There are more than a few pockets of excellence in this system. I disagree with the first part of the statement.

In recent years, we have gutted rigor, destroyed discipline, shoved all our students into a one size fits all everybody is going to go to college curriculum, given teachers all the responsibility and none of the authority and support and we have shifted our problems down the road like the queen in a game of three card Monty. Teachers have been run out of the profession and kids have graduated ill prepared for anything.

We do have pockets of success but they are happening in spite of the school system we have not because of it and the really maddening thing is we could have had a top tier district if our leadership would have just insisted we did things the right way. Disciplined schools, rigorous not advanced classes  more curriculum options for kids that suited their abilities and desires, if we would have treated teachers with respect and given them support and if instead of putting our resources into the ivory tower we would have put them in the classroom. Instead we chose to manipulate numbers to give the appearance we were doing well and those chickens came home to roost.

The Times Union one of the biggest culprits around for where we find ourselves because they don’t do the investigating, ask the tough questions and parrot the districts all is well message may be willing to give the superintendent and school board a pass but I am not. The leaders of our district chose to do things the wrong way and because of that the district deserves every ounce of negativity that comes with it.


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