FCAT Crisis: Escambia County hurts in math, too

The question that keeps popping up in my head is: What did Superintendent Malcolm Thomas and the school district administration do to prepare the teachers for FCAT 2.0? If he follows his past pattern, teachers and parents will be blamed for the low results, but the district has to assume some responsibility. Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson last week said that the problem was communication. He insinuated that the state had communicated through “proper channels” with the school districts, but the information didn’t make it to parents and teachers.

The FCAT math results were Escambia County’s third-graders lagged behind the state and neighboring counties. Thomas had only 51 percent score at Level 3 or higher—Santa Rosa 72 percent and Okaloosa 64 percent. The statewide percentage was 56 percent. See GR03_Mdis_2012v2.

The school results show significant problems with many of the schools that were graded higher last year. Top scores: Byrneville 95 percent, Pensacola Beach 88 percent, N.B. Cook 81 percent, Molino Park 81 percent, Suter 75 percent an Cordova Park 73 percent. Bottom scores: Global Learning 30 percent, Jackie Harris 28 percent, O.J. Semmes 27 percent, Lincoln Park 17 percent, West Pensacola 11 percent and A.A. Dixon 5 percent. See GR03_Msch_2012v2.

The school district has grown its unrestricted reserves to over $68 million. Looks like it could have spent some on it on education of the children.