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Friday, March 30, 2012

What does having a "B" District mean?

The Superintendent and the school board like to say over and over how we are a B school district and I am reminded of the old saying, if you repeat the big lie long enough some people will buy it.

What exactly does a B mean? Well for Duval it means we are the 50th ranked district out of 67. It’s a good thing Florida doesn’t grade on a curve right? It means we have eight of the bottom 25 high schools in the state including number 404 out of 404 and our middle schools are in a similar predicament. It means less than two thirds of our kids graduate on time (just over half of our African American kids do) and many of those needed social promotions and grade recovery to do so. Less than half our kids arrive to high school reading on grade level and if we didn’t force so many level ones and twos into Advanced Placement classes, where they have no business being, then we would be in real trouble. By the way our kids only pass one in four A.P. tests. That is what earns a B grade in Florida.

The truth is we have a lot of wonderful things going on in the district. A lot of great teachers and a lot of great kids but it is also the truth that most of our successes are happening in spite of Burney, Barrett, Gentry, the rest of the school board and the superintendent not because of them.

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