Guidelines

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, May 23, 2014

Congratulations are in Order!



Congratulations are in order for Bellview and Longleaf Elementary Schools! Bellview scored in the top ten out of all district schools in 3rd Grade FCAT Reading and Math, and Bellview also scored in the top five for 4th grade FCAT writing! Given the fact that this is a title one school with a very small PTA, limited parental involvement, and numerous challenging characteristics, I think these achievements are excellent; principal Hollie Wilkins, her staff, students, and parents should all be extremely proud! Right down the road at Longleaf Elementary, that school scored #1 in the district in FCAT writing for 4th grade--an incredible achievement! Longleaf also scored the highest year-over-year improvement in 4th grade FCAT writing-improving 20 points over last year! Longleaf, like Bellview, is a title one school with numerous challenges;




 however, this school proves that the right students, parents, staff, and administrators can get the job done. Congrats to Dr. Patti Thomas and her entire staff. I also feel it is important to point out that a few of our charter schools are knocking it out of the park as well: Byrneville was #2, right behind Molino Park Elementary, in 3rd grade FCAT math. Pensacola Beach Charter was number three in the district in this category. In third grade FCAT reading, Pensacola Beach Charter and Byrneville charter were #1 and #2 respectively out of every district elementary school. Bravo!--and to them I say congratulations!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

In comparison to your other newest blog on FCAT scores, you may want to ask what Bellview and Longleaf are doing different. My personal opinion is that you probably know faculty and staff make a tremendous difference when they know how to properly handle children. It's a complex problem that involve a myriad of factors -- and yes, stability in the home is an important factor, I just feel you will confess that sometimes, just sometimes, schools really can do better.

The behavior coaches are fairly new, and apparently they weren't that good at first since they weren't skilled. They were not yet qualified for the job, so they did the job while obtaining their Master's. Perhaps they're better now -- and real progress will come with their efforts.

Thanks for what you do, nonetheless.

Jeff Bergosh said...

Schools can always do better, but what I know is that there is something amiss when we spend the tremendous resources we do at a handful of schools and we are still at the back of the pack. I think until we admit that there are issues in society and in particular in some of these dysfunctional homes that is standing in the way of progress. We have put teachers under a microscope, eliminated tenure for new hires, and revamped and expanded their appraisals. We have invested in facilities and technology. We have the resources, and yet we cannot get some of these schools over the bar. I can't wait to see what nuanced minute issue this latest round of scores will be blamed on. It will be interesting to see. But I won't sit quietly like a wax statue or a bobble-head and listen to any more B.S. about how we need more training, equipment, facilities, or more $. We have all those boxes checked. As a matter of fact I heard a principal that I respect tell me in a crowd of administrators--"We have the resources we need, but the work is tough" I appreciate his honesty, and he is at least keeping it real. I don't want to hear any more about "we need more money" If a genie showed up and POOF we suddenly had 30K per kid (4 X what we currently get) Would things really magically improve in these struggling schools? Look at D.C, LAUSD, and several others that already spend $30K per kid and they are still a train-wreck. Somebody simply has to tell it like it is and say it. The Feds, with their disincentivization of work, marriage, and religion and their never ending entitlement programs have destroyed many inner-city communities, fostering high crime, high unemployment, and low achievement in schools. Until that ship gets righted, I'm not sure how we fix schools when the home lives of these families are a wreck. Meanwhile, many will keep the PC line going, we need more money and programs, and they will wonder why we have a hard time keeping the veteran teachers at these schools. It is a real problem that nobody will discuss. So I guess we'll keep beating everyone up except those that are really to blame, becuase that's the path of least resistance.....

Anonymous said...

I can sympathize with why you believe that it simply boils down to the parents. But when we compare our educational system to other countries, we are underperforming. Even the poor European kids outperform American kids. Poor European kids (in several countries) even have a 10+ percentage point advantage of getting out of poverty. Why is that? http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/09/why-the-world-is-smarter-than-us.html.

Anonymous said...

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/january/finnish-schools-reform-012012.html

"When we compare teachers to other professions in society, we compare them to lawyers or doctors or architects," he said. "Not as here [in the United States], where they are compared to nurses or therapists, or something like that, that require lower academic training."

Truth. Educating the next generation of learners is not valued in our society. Intellectualism is devalued, and in the face of dogmatism instead of a genuine and reasonable faith, it's viewed as a sort of evil. That's why we have folks who don't realize the real problems facing Americans is not Islam taking over, but gross income inequality. (See documentary "income Inequality for All" by Robert Reich). That's why we have folks who don't realize the real and serious effects of climate change. -- and why some people believe Obamacare is socialism.

Jeff Bergosh said...

I know Reich's philosophy-we should be taxing everyone more, and we should go back to the "good old days" of the 1950s and have top marginal tax rates in the 80% range. I read "Supercapitalism" --but I say no thank you to his ideas-they woulkd take this country straight into a depression, do not pass go, do not collect $200 dollars. And with respect to "income inequality" that whole argument is BS so far as I'm concerned. this is America, everyone has a chance to succeed, and everyone has the opportunity. But there are no guarantees-you have to work really hard to be successful, you can't rest on your laurels and wait for it to come to you. People come here from other countries and they literally kiss the ground when they get here, they are so thankful. And many of these immigrants within one generation under our very fair and open market economy, have their own businesses and have their kids in our nation's top schools. The real culprit in this whole equation is the Federal government's entitlement cornacopia that was developed in the mid 60s to fight poverty. Trouble is, it hasn't worked and nobody will admit this. $50 Trillion + over the last 50 years and the poverty level is actually about the same. What has occurred is the out of wedlock birthrate has increased, work has been disincentivized, and personal responsibility has been ripped from the nation's vocabulary and replaced with "the government will take care of you. And we have an SSDI system that if rife with fraud, but nobody has the guts to fix it, and we have a society that is devolving in many inner city areas with high crime, lots of drugs, irresponsible parents trapped in generational poverty having more and more kids to get bigger entitlement checks, and this is swamping some public schools to the point that you see many that are in total disarray. And naive politicians and bureaucrats think more money will lower the crime rate and improve the schools in these inner city areas, but this hasn't, doesn't and won't work. It is really quite depressing. The only silver lining: Our country's cream of the crop students are still the world's best, we are still the incubator of innovation, and this is not going to change. Meanwhile, back in the hoods, the entitlements will keep coming, and our poor in this country will lead a life in a level of comfort that no other county's poor on planet Earth can match. But is living in comfort on the government dole really the best we can do as a country? I think we need to drammatically reform our entire entitlement system, top to bottom, because it is broken and is feeding generations of dysfunctional citizenry. This, in turn bleeds into schools and nobody can figure out why some kids are not reaching their full potential. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should ship Warrington students to Finland.