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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco school leaders praise new relationship with state Differentiated Accountability team



Pasco County schools superintendent Kurt Browning has changed his tune on the role of the Florida Department of Education's accountability teams.

"There is a new attitude," Browning said Tuesday. "It is not confrontational. It is not in your face."

A few months ago, the superintendent demanded that the teams assigned to help Pasco's most struggling schools be removed. He recounted groups of clipboard-carrying observers moving through classrooms, scribbling on papers without saying a word. They caused too much angst in the schools they were supposed to be helping, he contended.

The FLDOE didn't accede to his request. But its leaders did promise to change the approach. Now, Browning observed, the members only come when there's something to do. And they collaborate more closely with district officials, who are overseeing the district-managed turnaround despite it being state mandated.

What most impressed Browning was that three members of the team assisting Lacoochee Elementary School showed up Saturday for a cookout and festival designed to help parents and the community better know the school staff.

"That spoke volumes to me," Browning said. "They want to see us succeed."

State DA teams visited Lacoochee, Hudson Elementary, Gulf Middle and a handful of other schools last week to review turnaround efforts at each. They will continue to work with the district throughout the year.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 9:13am]


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