A team of Pasco County school district officials, led by superintendent Kurt Browning, heads to Collier County on Thursday to look for ideas that might help boost academic achievement back home.
Browning said he has been impressed by Collier's steady improvement in its performance on state accountability standards, such as test performance. He noted that when Kamela Patton became Collier superintendent in 2011, that district hovered in the middle of the pack with its results — similar to Pasco.
Since then, though, Collier has moved up to rank 5th statewide on the standard of points earned in the state grading system, while Pasco's rank has remained in the mid- to low-30s.
Collier's overall improvement could include some initiatives that Pasco could benefit from, said Browning, who in the past pledged to raise his district's rating.
The group intends to pay particular attention to the curriculum and supports offered to schools struggling in the state's accountability program, and the data systems Collier uses to help guide decisions.
There could be small but important changes that Pasco might be able to implement quickly to great advantage, he said, or perhaps the group might discover that it's doing much of what Collier does.
If that's the case, Browning said, his team will have to explore why Pasco is not getting similar results.
School Board member Colleen Beaudoin will travel with the administrators. She looked forward to hearing how Collier approaches the issues that all school districts face.
"We're hoping to learn from what they're doing," Beaudoin said. "They've seen general improvement all around."