Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Point of View; Era of Positive Feelings about Schools

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Point of View; Era of Positive Feelings about Schools

Article excerpt

Byline: The Rev. Torin Dailey

Over the last several years, our city has made incredible strides in rallying around public education as the key to Jacksonville's future, and it's showing.

Our annual public opinion poll shows that a growing number of Duval County residents say people here "take a lot of responsibility" for ensuring high-quality public education.

A majority of residents say the superintendent and School Board are effective when it comes to improving public education, as well as businesses and nonprofit organizations.

That work is paying off as record numbers of students are graduating from Duval County Public Schools ready for college and careers.

Much remains to be done, but the energy and enthusiasm for accelerating the pace of progress is high. Nowhere was that more evident than at the Jacksonville Public Education Fund's One by One Convention on Jan. 31. Hundreds of the city's most passionate public education advocates gathered to move public education forward.

This diverse group of delegates had a chance to evaluate how far we've come in the last year, and plan to make 2015 a year of action.

SUMMARIZING TRENDS

Some trends have started to emerge, including:

- Delegates shared excitement about indicators, such as math and reading scores as well as the graduation rate. Many say that they see more pride in public schools, and the image of public schools has improved.

- Delegates say they see partners (such as businesses and nonprofits) working together to improve public education with a sense of common vision.

- Delegates see more business and community member engagement but still not enough. They see One by One as key to garnering this support.

- Delegates are concerned about the emphasis on testing and mentioned that many initiatives are not yet implemented countywide. …

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