I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Commissioner of Education Tours Warrington Middle School--Media "Absent"

Florida’s Commissioner of Education spent this morning in Pensacola touring Warrington Middle School and meeting with local education officials.  Gerard Robinson, named as the replacement for Dr. Eric Smith who resigned earlier this summer as Florida Education Commissioner, spent time visiting classrooms, speaking with students and teachers, and visiting the Warrington Middle School Flight Academy.

               Florida Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson Tours Warrington Middle School on 9-9-11

After the tour, Mr. Robinson sat down with Superintendent Thomas, WMS Principal Sandra Rush-Riley, District and FDOE staff,  as well as members of the Escambia County School Board.  A discussion of education policy topics ensued,  and the Commissioner  asked if the district had any priorities he could take away from Escambia County. 

Florida Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson Discusses Education Priorities with Superintendent Malcolm Thomas and WMS Principal Sandra Rush-Riley (above)
The four  main priorities discussed with Commissioner Robinson were the following:

1.        The District solicited support from the commissioner for a more realistic and fair way for intervene schools like Warrington Middle School to exit intervene status.
2.        The District expressed the need for facilities funds—PECO maintenance and PECO construction--with an emphasis on equity between traditional schools and charter schools when state allocations are made(for 2011-2012—charter schools received PECO funds but traditional public schools did not)
3.       The District reiterated our strong position that co-enrollment funding via workforce development needs to be continued and funded fully.
4.       The District discussed the need for local control of the school year calendar, in particular the need to have control over the start date so that the first semester can be completed prior to Christmas Break.

Commissioner Robinson was gracious and friendly and thanked everyone on the tour for taking time to spend the morning with him.  On a somber note, Commissioner Robinson was aware of the murder of an Escambia High School Student the night before, and he offered his condolences and said he would keep that student’s  family in his prayers.

Given the fact that Mr. Robinson is the number 1 educational official in our state of 19 Million people—I felt his visit this morning to Pensacola was a significant event.  Unfortunately, no local media showed up, no WEAR, no PNJ, and no INWEEKLY.  Mr. Robinson is the type of role-model many youth in our community would benefit from seeing and hearing;  The community at large would have been well served seeing this man and hearing his message to the youth in the classes he visited today-but that will not happen. 
 Some in the local media prefer to blame the school district for violence outside of school (and the district’s control) rather than covering The School Board’s  important  and meaningful events like today’s visit from Mr. Robinson. 

1 comment:

tours in trinidad & tobago said...

That's awesome. His tour is a significant boost to the morale of school staff and also changes for the school.