An education challenge for St. Peterburg's next mayor
From this morning's op-ed by Jim Verhulst, editor of the St. Petersburg Times Perspective section:
So here's a challenge for Kathleen Ford and Bill Foster. One of you will be St. Petersburg's next mayor, and you both proudly had children graduate from the IB program at the city's namesake school. Make it your mission to raise black student achievement so that at least one-quarter of the IB students are African-American. That would roughly equal the percentage of south Pinellas high school students who are black.
Use the bully pulpit of the mayor's office to make this promise and then provide the support to make it happen by midway through your first term. Don't do this by making exceptions or changing the standards. Do it by working with students, parents, community groups and schools to prepare younger African-American kids for the challenge of the toughest high school program around.
In real terms, this means helping 30 black students or so a year rise to this high standard. Shouldn't students, parents, citizens, the city and the district be able to accomplish this much?