Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Duval County School Board: District 3 (Np)

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Duval County School Board: District 3 (Np)

Article excerpt

(I) KRIS BARNES

Age: 49

Education: Associate's degree from Florida Junior College

Occupation: School Board member, District 3

Previous elected office: Elected to the Duval County School Board November 2000; chairman from November 2003 to November 2004.

What is the School Board's role in fixing the problems at the "F" schools and how should the board fill that role?

The School Board must ensure that the superintendent has put strong administrators, teachers and staff members in the challenged schools. The board must further make sure that the challenged schools have the resources necessary to be successful. Mayor John Peyton's literacy initiative for the pre-school children of Jacksonville is going to be a great benefit to the school system, and as a School Board member I am very encouraged by the mayor's commitment to the community. The board must be sure elementary teachers are receiving the training necessary to successfully teach reading and have all students (without severe learning disabilities) reading on grade level. Many teachers will tell you they were not adequately trained in college to teach reading and this is something that must be addressed with college's nation wide.

Two other top issues:

1. Discipline continues to be an issue we have been dealing with. This summer we passed policies to strengthen the penalties for disruptive behavior through the Student Code of Conduct. A large number of the most disruptive students are the same students who are struggling in school. The board has been studying possibilities for providing the most disruptive students with an alternative learning environment which would allow teachers to not be distracted from the students committed to learning.

2. Continuing to work with students who are not performing at grade level in reading is an issue that demands new approaches. …

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