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.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Failure Factories--Investigative Journalism Deconstructing How Public Schools Can Fail Their Students...

This article from the Tampa Bay Times is incredibly good.  This is investigative journalism at its best.  Even though I do not agree with many of the points or assumptions made in the piece, I see much similarity to some circumstances/conditions in some Escambia schools.

This is a compelling read.  from "Failure Factories"

"Elyse Mermelstein started as a first-grade teacher at Lakewood Elementary nine weeks into the fall of 2013, but she already was the third teacher to run the class, her principal told her.The other teachers had quit. “The kids were horribly behind,” Mermelstein, 43, said in an interview with the Times.  A certified teacher of elementary school children and non-native English speakers, she said her Lakewood students could barely read. “They should have been reading books with paragraphs. They should have been comprehending. “They had so many teachers, it added to the problem.”Eight weeks after taking the job, she resigned, too. She said administrators left her on her own to handle behavior problems and encouraged her to teach at too slow a pace. She said both she and the principal agreed it wasn’t working out. Mermelstein said that as she packed up her things on Dec. 20, just before winter break, she heard crying coming from the classroom next door. It was another first-grade instructor, who was halfway through her first year as a teacher. She, too, walked out that day and never came back, Mermelstein said. Keeping teachers at these five elementary schools in south St. Petersburg has been a difficult task, records show. In 2014, 52 percent of the schools’ instructors requested transfers out.  Fourteen quit in the middle of the year. At least three of them simply walked off the job without giving notice, opting to risk action against their state teaching certificate rather than stay a moment longer"

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