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Mayor Foster: D, F schools in St. Petersburg are "killing us"



Here's somebody else who's not happy with this year's school grades: St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster.

Pinellas has eight D and F elementary schools this year - up from zip last year - and five of them are in St. Petersburg: Fairmount Park (F), Woodlawn (F), Lakewood (F), Maximo (D) and New Heights (D). (The other three are Gulfport, Pinellas Park and Sandy Lane in Clearwater, all D's.)

Foster called the low grades for city schools "unacceptable."

"I'm extremely frustrated," Foster told St. Petersburg Times reporter Michael Van Sickler. "Whatever it is that the Pinellas County school system is doing, at these schools that dropped, it's not working."

Foster said he recognizes that he doesn't have authority when it comes to schools. "Which is why I need to approach the school board with humility," he said. "But we need to sit down and make sure this doesn't happen again."

"The stigma of D and F schools in St. Petersburg is killing us," he continued. "The growth of this city is tied to the education of the kids. If you're failing at that, you're taking the life out of the city, little by little, every year."

[Last modified: Friday, August 6, 2010 5:35pm]


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