Pinellas County School Study

Letter to the editor:
The Pinellas School Board already had a study in 2005 which indicated that the 'achievement gap' was similar in other Florida districts. Another proposed 'external' study to revisit that 2005 premise is therefore not necessary. What is necessary, is an internal study to define the reasons, if any, that black students are not acheiving as well as other groups 'within' the Pinellas System. Whatever facts, figures, etc., that are necessary for this study undoubtedly already reside with the teachers and administrators who are on the front lines with the children every day of the school year. An external study could never match all this internal knowledge. Instead of spending money on 'outsiders', The School Board should pay the teachers to assess the situation. The Administrators could cull this info and present their findings to parents and community leaders. External studies are especially egregious, not only for wasting taxpayers money, because it indicts the School Board for abrogating its responsibility. The School Board has failed previously to do anything when failing grades have been announced for 'all students' during the last several years, forcing the Legislature to adopt Bills SB6 and SB736. The teachers and the children are our 'treasure chest', who come first, before the Unions and The School Board. If the present School Board can't do the job, the citizens should vote in a new Board. Unless a dedicated plan to assess this serious problem is addressed we'll be going around in circles as usual.

Philip Tropea, Republican Candidate for House District 48
Philip Tropea
4624 Orange Grove Way
Palm Harbor, Florida 34684
(727) 786-8379