Black students in Pinellas lag behind black students elsewhere
And in math and science, it’s not really close. Why?
Prompted by this St. Petersburg Times story about an applied math camp for minority kids, we took a closer look at the 2008 math and science FCAT scores for black students in Pinellas and Florida’s six other big urban districts. (The state Department of Education says the demographic breakdowns for the 2009 FCAT won’t be available until later this month.) The results, for Pinellas, are not pretty.
In every grade, in both subjects, black students in Pinellas do worse than black students in those other districts. In almost every case, it’s significantly worse.
In tenth grade math, 31 percent of black students in Pinellas are at grade level. That’s 13 percentage points behind Miami-Dade and 16 percentage points behind Hillsborough.
In fifth grade science, 12 percent of black students in Pinellas are at grade level, compared to 18 percent in Hillsborough, Orange and Duval. In Miami-Dade, it’s 21 percent. In Palm Beach, it’s 24 percent.
Granted, the numbers are not good anywhere. But why would black students in Pinellas be performing that much worse than black students in Tampa and Miami?
- Ron Matus, state education reporter