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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Just who are the Duval Partners

I wrote this last month and it seems pretty relevent now. -cpg

Just who are the Duval Partners

Sure there are academics on the board, college professors and teachers who last stepped in a classroom decades ago but where is the long time English teacher who has seen the schools go through good times and bad. Where is the guidance counselor who knows what the kids want to do with their lives and for more than a few that does not include college? Where is the ninth grade math teacher who knows about the deficiencies his or her students arrived with? Well you won’t find them because nobody like that is on the board.

Once again like Rick Scott did when he created his education team, the City of Hope did when they created their leadership team and like so many other blue ribbon panels on education have done, Duval Partners for Excellent Education has excluded teachers, the boots on the ground that have a first hand view of the problem. You know, the ones that will have to implement any solution. Who have a birds eye view of what does and what does not work.

If this non-profit is here to galvanize the community and raise resources then that’s fine, but they should have nothing to do with hiring and firing and setting policy and curriculum because quite frankly their impressive credentials don’t indicate that in a modern public school setting they would have a clue as to what to do.

Being a college professor, having a student at a school or running a business does not make one a public school expert. Ed Prstt-Dannals and W.C. Gentry are you listening; do you understand that? There are nuances you can only pick up if you are in the classroom day in and day out. Nuances I am afraid will go ignored and dropped through the cracks. Nuances that if disregarded can lead to worse problems.

This group does not leave me optimistic

Chris Guerrieri
School Teacher

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