Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas schools examine FCAT data to see how best to help low-performing students

LARGO — Pinellas school officials need to look more closely at what's going on between low-performing students and their teachers, School Board member Mary Brown said Tuesday.

Brown expressed concern at a board workshop at the number of students who are not succeeding based on standardized test results even as she acknowledged there is more to a school than its Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test grade.

"We should be able to determine whether kids coming out of certain classrooms are continuing to have problems," Brown said. "We should be able to know if it is certain classrooms so we can give those teachers special help."

Board member Linda Lerner countered, saying demographics have changed at many schools since the district began assigning students closer to home.

Board members' remarks came during a presentation about the letter grades Pinellas schools received last week based on the FCAT.

Octavio Salcedo, the district's director of testing, began with the good news: As a district, Pinellas missed an A by only 2 points. There were more A schools than ever before, Salcedo said, and a handful improved two letter grades.

But among the roughly 30 elementary schools with the highest populations of poor students, only eight are not facing federal sanctions under the No Child Left Behind Act, Salcedo said.

No middle schools, with the exception of the district's fundamental middles, made "adequate yearly progress" under federal guidelines.

Nine Pinellas high schools received D's this year, and Gibbs High in St. Petersburg became the district's first high school to receive an F. It's too soon to know what types of interventions the state will require of Gibbs, Salcedo said.

Ten of the district's 16 high schools lost a letter grade this year because they didn't make enough progress in reading with their lowest-performing students.

Salcedo told board members that principals already are looking at the relationship between teachers and low-performing students.

"I can't tell you how well it's working, but principals can pull up lists by teachers and see which kids made gains," Salcedo said. "Principals have a lot of information."

The idea may come up again later this week when superintendent Julie Janssen is scheduled to meet with high school principals to hammer out a more detailed plan for improving student performance.

In addition to continuing to monitor students performing at the lowest 25 percent, principals will:

• Look at incoming students to begin focusing on appropriate interventions.

• Research data on each student, including attendance and discipline statistics.

• Consider changes in staffing and scheduling.

Pinellas schools examine FCAT data to see how best to help low-performing students 06/23/09 [Last modified: Thursday, June 25, 2009 10:19am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. U.S. general lays out Niger attack details; questions remain (w/video)


    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Special Forces unit ambushed by Islamic militants in Niger didn't call for help until an hour into their first contact with the enemy, the top U.S. general said Monday, as he tried to clear up some of the murky details of the assault that killed four American troops and has triggered a nasty …

    Gen. Joseph Dunford said much is still unclear about the ambush.
  2. Trump awards Medal of Honor to Vietnam-era Army medic (w/video)


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday turned a Medal of Honor ceremony for a Vietnam-era Army medic who risked his life to help wounded comrades into a mini homework tutorial for the boy and girl who came to watch their grandfather be enshrined "into the history of our nation."

    WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 23:  Retired U.S. Army Capt. Gary Rose (L) receives a standing ovation after being awarded the Medal of Honor by U.S. President Donald Trump during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House October 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Rose, 69, is being recognized for risking his life while serving as a medic with the 5th Special Force Group and the Military Assistance Command Studies and Observations Group during ‘Operation Tailwind’ in September 1970. Ignoring his own injuries, Rose helped treat 50 soldiers over four days when his unit joined local fighters to attack North Vietnamese forces in Laos - officially off limits for combat at the time.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) 775062921
  3. Long day of diplomacy: Tillerson visits Afghanistan, Iraq


    BAGHDAD — Far from the Washington murmurs about his future, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to two of America's enduring war zones Monday, prodding leaders in Afghanistan and Iraq to reach out to longtime rivals.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, center, speaks Monday at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, accompanied by Gen. John Nicholson, left, and Special Charge d’Affaires Amb. Hugo Llorens.
  4. Head-on crash kills Wesley Chapel teacher and Zephyrhills man


    TAMPA — Two men, including a high school math teacher, were killed Monday in a head-on crash on Morris Bridge Road, deputies said.

  5. Pinellas sees slight increase in black and first-year teachers


    A year after the Pinellas County school district was chastised in a state report for clustering inexperienced teachers in the state's most struggling schools, the district has reported a first look at its teacher corps.

    The Pinellas County school district has taken a first look at first-year teachers in struggling schools and minority hiring, both of which ticked slightly upward.