Duval Schools; Positives Are Too Big to Be Buried

Article excerpt

The positive aspects of the county's public school system often are underappreciated.

Board member Betty Burney criticized Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals for not making a better case in the community regarding the positives in the system.

"The community's overall respect for and perception of Duval County Public Schools is that it is a 'failing and ineffective' school district," Burney wrote in her evaluation.

Much of the focus has been aimed at the county's struggling schools and the fact that the intervene high schools have increased. That is cause for serious and justifiable concern.

But it also would not be fair to stereotype the entire school system based on the struggles of a few schools.

The achievements that Pratt-Dannals listed in his self-evaluation are real and significant.

Here are a few that are worth highlighting:

B grade: The state of Florida has given the school district a B grade for the fourth year in a row. Whatever you want to say about the state Department of Education, it isn't inclined to give fluff grades.

Positives from parents, teachers: A total of 90 percent of parents say their children's schools are safe, while 90 percent of teachers reacted positively. …


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