Responding to a proposal from Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor to address what he views as sub-par testing performance by Title 1 schools, Leon County School Board member Joy Bowen asked Proctor to help her reach the parents of Title 1 schools.
Proctor spoke at the July 30th Leon County School Board and told the Board that based on “the FSA over 60% of District 1 students are performing below grade level in English, Math and Science…The FSA data reveals a crisis exists in the Title 1 schools and I recommend radical intervention in Title 1 schools.”
Proctor asked the Board to invest $20 million over the next five years to get more students to perform at grade level.
Proctor said, “As the School Board welcomes an additional $15 million for its next budget year, I implore you to invest an additional $4 million annually in “Project Student Success 2020” over the next 5 years to improve reading scores across the 12 Title 1 schools in our community.”
Bowen, in an 18 minute speech, said she was “jarred to the core” by Proctor’s criticism and spoke about the need for parents to step up.
Bowen, addressing Proctor, said, “I need your help in helping me to help parents to understand what the responsibilities are to have their children come to school ready for school….I understand that improvement is always possible and in our school system we can still do some things to improve what we do were not perfect but it takes all of us.”
Bowen continued, “I need your help to mobilize these parents…so that when these children come to school they can come to school ready. That you can help me stand shoulder to shoulder and say to parents when little Joy or little Bill leaves home let them know that you want them to check their behavior. Because when they walk into a classroom you want them to know you expect them to learn you expect them to sit down you expect them to be attentive and you expect them to bring that education home.”
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The Leon County School Board attorney, Opal Williams, would not let Commissioner Bill Proctor respond to Bowen’s comments.
The Board did not take up Proctor’s proposal.