Ask a Teacher

The school board has voted to push the superintendents performance review back a few weeks. This was brought about by the delayed release of school grades because of the F-Cat grading fiasco (by the way the district recently hired the same company to do some of our data analysis). This review push back is actually a good thing for the citizens of Jacksonville. It gives the public an opportunity to contact our school board members and let them know what they think about the job he is doing.

If you do so and I hope you do, I think you should consider his own words when describing his performance. In his own words he blamed the college entrance test that Florida State College at Jacksonville gives for not asking the right questions as why seventy percent of Duval County grads having to take remedial classes and you should probably also consider when he said “we are a good community away from having a good school system.” Though If that’s not enough I would suggest looking up the articles where he pointed the finger at parents and teachers alike for many of the woes Jacksonville’s school system is experiencing.

If you are more of a statistics person than a word person, how about looking at the counties graduation rates, drop out rates, how enrollment in private school and home schooling is growing here in Jacksonville while decreasing in the rest of the state and our reading rates.

Or if you like you can also look at the direction the city has taken; crime, the economy and civility or the lack thereof can all find some of their roots in education.

If you still don’t have an opinion ask a teacher what they think. I think it might be eye opening.

I do not envy Superintendent Pratt-Dannals he has a very tough job, though I do envy his salary, which is a hundred thousand dollars more than the mayors and about the same as the superintendents of Clay and St. Johns County combined. Maybe he deserves it, he has arguably the most important job in the city. It’s a position I believe that requires a strong leader that does not sugar coat things or massage the numbers and as I see it and you may very well disagree, we are in big trouble. Where does the buck stop?

Finally if you think he has done a good job let the school board know but if you think he hasn’t you should take this opportunity to let them know that as well.

Chris Guerrieri
School Teacher

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