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Friday, September 26, 2014

Dear Duval County, where are the books?

I am a proud graduate of Duval County Public schools and I remember like clockwork at the beginning of each school year I was assigned all my books at once. My how things have changed.

I posed a question on Facebook, Duval teachers, do you and your kids have enough books?

These were the very disappointing answers. 


 I helped one teacher stock her classroom with needed books... She has spent lots of her own money to get her classroom ready. I just pitched in as her adopted room mother. I adopted 2 teachers this year, but one is in Alachua county. I helped her with consumable supplies.

I already weighed in on this one. But you should also know that the online curriculums are also not ready. We've been waiting six weeks for the student uploads to take place for middle school math, digits (Pearson, if you have a rotten tomato in your hand), which means teachers cannot assign homework without spending time at the copy machine, do diagnostic assessments for differentiation, or do the online tests. The curriculum was sold that all this online technology would save teachers hours of grading and data production. Achieve 3000 for ELA has also been slow for activation. That might have now come through since Vitti ordered all the middle schools to have the testing part of Achieve 3000 done by Friday. It never ends, but is this tragedy or farce?

My son is in 6th grade and still doesn't have a science book.

No, we only have 27 Economics books for the whole school and they are 11 years old. I got a classroom set of the JA book from my friends there.

well the novels that we were to use in class, no they didn't give us enough. Some teachers went out and bought class sets of their own....not happening here, i dont have that kind of money

oh and the whole SRA thing got scrapped???? who paid for all those books and materials that won't be in use now????

Nope. They have in-class books for pre-calc. They take photos with their phones--if they have a phone, and if they have storage--or get it offline.

Not a full set of novels for ELA 5th grade. Some (actually quite a few) walked off last year. I have purchased a few but don't want to spend all my $ on replacements. And I will never let students take them home anymore so they can catch up when out of the classroom when we are reading (which is happening way too frequently to be this early in the school year.)

Nope. Not even for ap macroeconomics which really really needs a book. It's hard enough with a book.

My heart aches and I feel your pain since I walked in your shoes until 6/11/14. I have since relocated to Colorado Springs. I Have met teachers and parents and love to question them about their experience with the school system. I have heard not one comment similar to what we experienced in Duval County. And, Colorado Springs is a community of about 750,000 people and there are 6 districts within this community. This is a different world. Duval County has had problems for too long and they have continued under each new Superintendent. Enough is enough.

NO! Am buying more with my own $$. Ridiculous\

As a person who grew up in the now legendary NYC public school system that gave us all our text books on the first day of classes, I have to say, really Duval County School Board?!? Bet we can find a few administrator salaries we could cut to pay for more books and not have the system suffer one iota.

Just so you know it is not all bad, one teacher, out of a dozen wrote, Yes. AND we got "permission" to use the consumables as consumables!!! How cool is that?!??

Where's the money for the books? Or since we are planning to willfully violate the class size amendment are we saving it to pay the fine?

Oy vey, if there is a plan for success here I am sadly not seeing it.


  1. The new policy on textbooks at the high school level is the most asinine thing I have ever heard. As an AP instructor in a dcps high school, I can tell you that students working at the AP/college level ABSOLUTELY need to have access to a text outside of the classroom. My book for my subject is not available online! Students take pictures, or I upload to my website, which sucks more time out of my day to scan, save, upload, and post. Really? Oh, and did I mention that my school has enough books to distribute to every student in my course? Yes, books are in the building, sitting in a room, collecting dust, because dcps has said class sets only. Meanwhile, some of my students have purchased my text off Ebay, without my even suggesting it! That's how much they NEED AND DESIRE to have a book! When I tell my non-teacher friends what we're dealing with, they're incredulous. You can't make this stuff up. Denise Smith Amos - please investigate!! Few people want to go on record because they fear retaliation in this county.

    1. please send me a note to, i have some questions and i swear to keep any mention of your name, subject or school out of any posts i write.