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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Duval County Public Schools says, "we were just following orders" with the last minute surpluses

Actually they haven't said anything despite the Times Union reporting they would address the matter, which is very disappointing.

I did receive this, a letter from the superintendent to the school board.

Board Members,

Per FAC 6A-1.099811, the district is required to submit Turnaround Option Plans (“TOP plans”) for eight schools:  Northwestern MS, Matthew Gilbert MS, Arlington MS, Lake Forest ES, Ramona ES, Arlington Heights ES, George Washington Carver ES, and Gregory Drive ES.  Wayne Greene, the Lead Regional Executive Director for Differentiated Accountability met with Mason Davis and Carolyn Davis yesterday as part of FDOE’s monitoring of schools required to submit TOP plans.  Also on yesterday, the FDOE released 2016-2017 raw VAM data to school districts which we are being required to use to review teacher performance at these schools.  The sole concern shared by Mr. Green at yesterday’s meeting is the district’s compliance with the mandatory reassignment of any teacher in these schools with 2016-17 raw VAM data in the unsatisfactory range.  This requirement affects 35 teachers at the following schools: 

Elementary Schools
Middle Schools
Arlington Heights (1)
Arlington (12)
George Washington Carver (2)
Matthew Gilbert (3)
Gregory Drive (6)
Northwestern (5)
Lake Forest (3)

Ramona Boulevard (3)

Human Resources staff are in the process of notifying teachers of their reassignments, having notified DTU of this requirement earlier today.  Unfortunately, due to the late notice of this requirement by FLDOE, we anticipate that these schools may open with higher than desirable vacancies.  At this late stage, open contract and surplus candidates have already been placed for the upcoming year.  Staffing supervisors will work with each school to assist with the identification and screening of candidates and are aware of the urgency to find and staff quality candidates in these schools.

We understand the department’s role in monitoring these schools and agree that teacher performance should be at least one factor for review.  Currently, no other evaluative factors are being considered as part of the reassignment.  Failure to comply with the reassignment requests immediately would likely jeopardize FLDOE’s approval of our required monitoring plans and potentially eliminate us from funding consideration.  We have made these changes as directed to ensure we do not compromise the much needed funding that is potentially available to further support these schools

Dr. Patricia S. Willis,
Duval County Public Schools

Schools will open with higher than usual vacancies, ya think?

They agree that teacher performance should be at least one factor for review, does this mean they support the use of VAM scores?

Where is the part where they fought for these teachers and told the state how losing them at this late date would hurt the schools? Did they put up a fight? Any resistance? You sure as heck can't tell from the email above and the district's silence on the issue has been deafening.

One of the reasons the state can make these harmful and ridiculous requests is because the district just shrugs its shoulders and goes, okay.

I figured the state in their zeal to harm public schools put Duval in this dreadful position, the state is reprehensible, but why does Duval take a bad situation and make it worse? Just following orders, is never the right answer.


  1. There were another group of people who were just following orders...

  2. Notice it says they have to submit a turn around plan. That plan could include a plan for working and supporting the teachers, a different timeline to replace them, or alternative placement. This is not new from the state, these schools were on a list last year and plans should have been made to have extra staff hired. Once again it is the teachers fault and the district just allows this type of thing to happen by not being proactive.

  3. Has anyone checked on Louis Sheffield and the complete decline in moral due to the Principal who wants to move 20+ teachers just because she can and has had mutilple teachers and admin quit since she got hired? Just asking because downtown doesn't seem to care...

    1. That was a great school four years ago...