Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Schools Chief Upbeat; Board Not So Much; Pratt-Dannals: 'We Had a Good Year'; Chairman: 'This Wasn't a Good Year'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Schools Chief Upbeat; Board Not So Much; Pratt-Dannals: 'We Had a Good Year'; Chairman: 'This Wasn't a Good Year'

Article excerpt

Byline: Topher Sanders

Duval County School Board members and their superintendent have different views on how the past year has gone for the school district.

Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals said Tuesday the district had its struggles and improvement is needed, but the key accomplishments outnumber unaccomplished goals.

"I think we had a pretty good year," Pratt-Dannals said, while acknowledging the district also "had some areas where we definitely need some significant improvement."

Board members took a different view.

"This wasn't a good year," Chairman W.C. Gentry told Pratt-Dannals during a morning workshop meeting to hear the superintendent's self-evaluation. "So where is the accountability for the people who are in charge?"

Board members needled Pratt-Dannals over his intention to leave some key staffers in the administrative ranks despite not having made the improvements in the schools assigned to them that the board wanted.

Pratt-Dannals' selection of staffers came under fire when he revealed his intention to make Tony Bellamy, the cluster chief responsible for three of the original intervene schools, responsible for the three new intervene schools.

Intervene schools are the worst-performing schools in the state.

Board members felt Bellamy's performance supervising Raines, Ribault and Andrew Jackson high schools did not warrant giving him the three new schools. Bellamy, who was at the meeting, declined to comment.

"Where is the accountability [and] consequences for them?" Gentry asked. "Last year you said one more year and there will be accountability for the people in charge."

Pratt-Dannals said his current staff is the best he can find because the national talent pool is "thin." He also said he has taken others schools and spread them out among other administrators in cases where a staffer didn't produce the needed improvement. …

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