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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

'Would you put your child in your school?'

Pasco superintendent Kurt Browning plans to have some frank conversations this summer and into next year with the people who run and work in the district's schools.

The talks will center on how to make the schools welcoming, engaging places of education where employees would send their own family members. That's not always happening now, to Browning's great dismay.

"If we as a district are truly committed to providing the very best educational experience and opportunities to our kids, then what does it say to the families we serve when a principal, a teacher, will take their children out of the school and place them in a private school or a charter?" Browning said. "What it says to me is, 'The school that I work in is not good enough.'"

He wants to tackle the situations that have led staffers to make such decisions. So Browning will be directing three questions at employees to get the talk started. They are:

- "Would you put your child in your school, and do not put qualifiers on that?" Browning says he wants a simple "yes" or "no," without explanations.

- "If not, why?"

- "What are we going to do as a district to fix that?"

He understands that some things are not within local control, such as accountability testing, but many things are. And that's where Browning wants to head. If employees aren't willing to put their own children in the schools where they work, he said, then the reasons must be addressed. Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Thursday, June 5, 2014 11:25am]


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