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Duval County Gets Waiver for Failing Schools

Duval County Gets Waiver for Failing Schools

TAMPA, Fla. -- The state Board of Education has voted to allow Duval County's four failing schools to remain under district control for another year, rather than appointing a third party to manage them.

Several board members expressed reluctance and one said this was one of the most difficult decisions she has made. The vote was 5-1.

Chairperson Kathleen Shanahan expressed her displeasure with progress being made in the four schools, but ultimately voted to give the district a waiver and allow one more year.

Another board member, Roberto Martinez, said he personally wants to visit the four failing schools to see firsthand what is and is not being done.

Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals traveled to Tampa for the meeting.

Teacher Merit Pay Fails in NYC Before Florida Schools Start Program

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Local education advocates are calling on Governor Rick Scott to look to New York City after their teacher merit pay program was abandoned Monday.

"I applaud New York for doing what's fiscally responsible and realizing that political ideology shouldn't set the tone for what we put into practice," said Colleen Wood, Save Duval Schools Executive Director.

The program in New York City rewarded the entire school based on performance.

Here in Florida individual teachers would be rewarded.

Wood has rallied against teacher merit pay since it was first introduced in Florida, and she thinks the state should follow in New York's footsteps.

Duval Superintendent Statement Regarding Board Recommendation for Intervene School Oversight

When Duval Partners for Excellent Education, Inc. was started, the primary responsibility was to mobilize the entire city in supporting the four intervene schools and their feeder schools. Specifically, they were to expand the involvement of businesses and faith-based partners, university staff, non-profit and government wrap around services, as well as adding to the financial resources to attract and retain the best principals and teachers, extend learning time, and other important needs.

Four Duval County Schools Unexpectedly Cut JROTC

Four Duval County Schools Unexpectedly Cut JROTC

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Dozens of First Coast students will no longer get training in high school to be military leaders of the future.

We've confirmed Englewood, Mandarin, Raines and Wolfson have cut their JROTC programs.

"They took out the one thing I loved about high school," Englewood senior Brian Sightler said.

"Always have looked forward to JROTC and being part of a team," Englewood sophomore Joey Taylor said.

Taylor lives and breathes JROTC. In the sweltering heat, he and his friends still enjoy practicing drills in the neighborhood; a neighborhood the Taylors moved to specifically for the school and its JROTC program.

"This is going to cut out some opportunities for a bunch of people," said Taylor's mother, Nova, who added they are depending on the JROTC scholarships.

Four Duval County Students Named 2011 Arts for Life! Scholarship Winners

Four Douglas Anderson School of the Arts students were selected to receive scholarships as the 2011 Arts for Life! winners.

Back-to-School Sales Show Up Extra Early at Some Retailers

Back-to-School Sales Show Up Extra Early at Some Retailers

Back to school already?

Some anxious retailers are jumping the gun to get shoppers' attention extra early. With good reason: Last year consumers spent more than $55 billion on back-to-school shopping, the National Retail Federation says. Many retailers are still nervous about consumer spending in a topsy-turvy economy.

That's one reason why Toys R Us' "Pack to School" sale on backpacks and lunchboxes started as early as July 1 in some parts of the country.

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