Researcher's past look at achievement gaps in Pinellas
As we've noted before, highly regarded Northwestern University professor David Figlio has looked at achievement gaps in Pinellas before - and concluded they were similar to other large school districts in Florida.
Click on the attachment below to see the full report that he put together in 2006. The district, which was being sued at the time over black student achievement, paid Figlio $123,737 for his work. It paid a fellow researcher $39,024.
Figlio looked at black-nonblack achievement gaps rather than black-white gaps. He also took into account other factors, such as poverty. A St. Petersburg Times analysis found that since 2005 - the last year that Figlio looked at - the divide between black students in Pinellas and black students statewide has increased in every grade on the math and reading portions of the FCAT. Black students in Pinellas now rank last among the 12 biggest districts in every grade in both subjects.
Superintendent Julie Janssen has twice postponed bringing the school board a contract to hire Figlio. She told The Gradebook that while she still wants to hire him, she is looking at a bigger plan to examine black student achievement and also needs to secure funding from outside the district.