Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NAACP in St. Petersburg calls for Pinellas school superintendent Mike Grego to resign

Mike Grego has been under increasing pressure with reports of Pinellas County schools failing. [DIRK SHADD | Times]

Mike Grego has been under increasing pressure with reports of Pinellas County schools failing. [DIRK SHADD | Times]

The NAACP is calling for Pinellas County school superintendent Mike Grego to resign, saying he hasn't taken responsibility for the failure of five predominantly black elementary schools in south St. Petersburg or shared a clear plan to improve the campuses.

In a blistering letter sent Monday to the School Board, Maria Scruggs, president of the St. Petersburg branch, said that board members should fire Grego if he doesn't step down by the end of the school year. She said Grego had a "business as usual" attitude about the schools.

"We just have too much at stake with these children," Scruggs said Wednesday.

Grego said he had no plans to resign. In a response sent Wednesday, he said he was "committed to learning from our school district's history to make positive changes and improve learning for all students."

The NAACP released a report last month in which they said Pinellas County's black students haven't received an equal education, and that school leaders failed to ensure that students were learning at Campbell Park, Fairmount Park, Lakewood, Maximo and Melrose elementary schools. The five schools were at the heart of a yearlong Tampa Bay Times investigation, "Failure Factories," which traced the rapid decline of the schools after a 2007 vote by the School Board to abandon integration efforts in favor of neighborhood schools.

Scruggs said Grego hasn't met with her to discuss the NAACP recommendations. And she criticized Grego for moving ahead with a proposal to turn the five schools into magnet programs over the strong objections of community leaders. On Tuesday, Grego said he was reconsidering the proposal.

"We're just headed right back down the path of throwing stuff on the wall and hoping that it sticks," she said.

In his response, Grego said he has tried to schedule a meeting with Scruggs.

Grego, who was hired in 2012, has added classroom aides, counselors and social workers to connect families with outside services. He also hired Antonio Burt, the district's new transformation leader, and created an eight-member team under Burt to focus on the county's lowest-performing schools.

Several board members said Wednesday that they support Grego.

Rene Flowers said that she was "incredulous" about the letter. In an email, Terry Krassner said "much more needs to be done to turn around struggling schools," but Grego "continues to have my support." Linda Lerner said she was "very pleased" with Grego's leadership.

Ken Peluso said that he was "taken aback" by the NAACP letter. As a new board member in 2014, one of his first meetings with Grego included a discussion of what was being done for the five schools, he said.

"What was put in place in 2014 wasn't meant to be the end of the action," Peluso said.

Contact Cara Fitzpatrick at cfitzpatrick@tampabay.com. Follow @Fitz_ly.

NAACP in St. Petersburg calls for Pinellas school superintendent Mike Grego to resign 05/11/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 10:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.