Thomas and his goals

When he was first elected school superintendent in 2008, Malcolm Thomas created a page on the district’s website that listed his six “Focused Curriculum Goals.”

In his seven years in office, he has nailed two of them – increasing graduation rates and decreasing out-of-school suspensions.

Thomas hasn’t faired as well in meeting the other four goals. Nearly one of three schools in district earned a D or F this past school year. The academic improvements in reading, math and science have not occurred. Warrington Middle School is one of lowest performing middle schools in the state of Florida.

1. All schools scoring “C” or above on state accountability system

The school has 47 elementary, middle and high schools. This year 14 did not earn a C or above, 30 percent.

2. Double the number of students scoring at the highest levels (4 and 5) in Reading, Math and Science

Language Arts Grades 3-10, 3 or above: 45%
Math Grades 3-8: 49%
Fifth 51%
Eighth 43%
Biology 6-12: 60%

3. Within 3 years (by the 2012-2013 school year) 90% of all 2nd grade students will read on grade level

The state doesn’t test second graders. However: Language Arts for 2016 Third graders: 49% below a 3

4. Schools will reduce the number of out of school suspensions by at least 10% by providing alternative consequences that will change behavior.

Out-of-School Suspensions have declined:

2009-10: 4,901
2010-11: 4,251
2012-13: 3,769
2013-14: 3,347

5. High schools will increase the graduation rates by at least 3%

Graduation rates have climbed:

2009-10: 55.4%
2010-11: 57.7%
2011-12: 62.1%
2012-13: 64.2%
2013-14: 66.1%
2014-15: 72.7%

6. The district will create a premier middle school at Warrington Middle.

School Grades
2009-10: C
2010-11: C
2011-12: D
2012-13: F
2013-14: D
2014-15: D

Warrington is the 14th lowest performing middle school in the state. Woodham Middle is 13th and Bellview Middle is 19th.

Achieve Escambia needs to sit down with Superintendent Thomas and hear his plan to tackle the four goals that he has failed to meet.

Simply adding a extra hour to the school day is not enough. More innovative measures are needed.