By one comparison, nonblack Pinellas students not doing so hot
As the Gradebook noted recently, black students in Pinellas do worse – and in some cases, far worse – than black students in Florida’s other big urban districts. But to a lesser degree, white, Hispanic and Asian students in Pinellas don't fare well against same-race students in those other districts, either.
In FCAT reading, white students in Pinellas are last in five of eight grades when compared to white students in the other six big districts, and next to last in two grades. In math, they’re last in three grades and next to last in three others.
Asian students in Pinellas are last in every grade but one in reading, and last or next to last in every grade in math.
The numbers are from 2008 FCAT scores, the most recent the state has broken down by race. Here are the big-district-to-big-district comparisons for white students, black students, Hispanic students and Asian students.
The Pinellas School Board is scheduled to vote tomorrow on a new legal agreement that will require the district to put more attention, and perhaps more money, on black students.
The district comparisons should be taken with a grain of salt. There are plenty of other comparisons to make (with more districts and over time) and other data to look at. Also keep in mind:
• Within Pinellas, black students as a group perform far worse than white, Asian and Hispanic students. And black students in Pinellas appear to be lagging behind black students in other big districts by a greater degree than Pinellas students of other races.
• Pinellas students overall are doing great compared to students overall in the other big districts. (See that comparison of all students here.) But Pinellas has far more white students than any of those districts (and even though they’re not performing as well as the white students in those districts, they’re doing better than the black and Hispanic students in those districts). It also has fewer students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch than all but one of those districts.
Ron Matus, State Education Reporter