Patton Staffer Admits “District” Meddling in 2016 School Board Election

By Steve Bracci:

This post follows up on my June 7 post about whether Superintendent Kamela Patton’s staff interfered in the 2016 School Board election.

In my June 7 e-mail to the School Board, I had asked who the “we” was in a June 2016 e-mail where Patton’s communications department was requesting corrections to articles to more favorably report coverage toward the campaigns of now-school board members Erick Carter and Stephanie Lucarelli.  It appeared that the “we” was the Collier County School District.  Last night, communications official Leanne Zinser confirmed my belief.

Looking further into the substance of the June 2016 Naples Daily News article in question, it appears that Patton’s staff was attempting to clarify the public reporting about which candidates would be in favor of extending Superintendent Patton’s employment contract.  In other words, it appears that Patton’s staff wanted the public to know who to vote for if you wanted to ensure Patton’s contract extension, and made requests for corrections to the article with a sense of urgency.

Here is a link to the June 20, 2016, Naples Daily News article:  [Click here for article link:]

The following is an e-mail I sent to the School Board today, in follow-up:

Board – last night you all agreed that preferential treatment of school board candidates is inappropriate.  Your suggested solution was to fix it moving forward.  This does not address what happened during the 2016 school board election campaign, the result of which is that we have two then-candidates now sitting on the school board dais.  Last night, Ms. Zinser also admitted that the “we” in her article is the District itself.  Since the school board never made a policy decision to meddle in the 2016 school board election by tracking coverage to ensure accuracy of reporting for candidates, the “District” as described by Ms. Zinser can only mean Superintendent Patton and her staff.  Ms. Lichter correctly stated last night that “the buck stops with the Superintendent.”

The vague answer by Ms. Zinser last night does not sufficiently explain why she meddled in the election coverage.  The rescue interjection by Mr. Turchetta – who then foolishly proceeded to say “I cannot speak to an e-mail I did not write” despite no one ever asking for his opinion – further makes one ponder what the Communications Department of the Patton Administration was up to last summer.

The June 2016 NDN article in question is attached. The article reported on which school board candidates would support an extension of Superintendent Kamela Patton’s contract.  It would thus appear that Patton’s staff tracked election coverage and demanded that the Naples Daily News correct the story so that the voting public would know who to vote for if they wanted to ensure the extension of Superintendent Patton’s contract.  This was so important to the Patton Administration that Ms. Zinser requested three times and with a sense of urgency that the article be changed.  Ms. Zinser made these requests during regular business hours, from her District e-mail address, under color of District authority.

Ms. Lichter – you indicated that Mr. Fishbane put this matter back upon you to look into as a board member- so can you please ask Ms. Zinser and Mr. Turchetta for:  (i) all other requests for corrections to election news coverage made by the Patton Administration during the 2016 school board campaign; (ii) all other communications with the Naples Daily News or other news organizations pertaining to the 2016 school board election; (iii) all documents evidencing staff meetings and communications with Mr. Carter and/or Ms. Lucarelli during the 2016 election; and (iv) all documents evidencing staff meetings and communications with other school board candidates during the 2016 election; (v) all agendas and minutes for the Superintendent’s cabinet meetings for the year 2016; (vi) all agendas for District staff meetings with the Naples Daily News from the start of 2016 through present; and (vii) all information regarding possible coordination between the Patton administration staff and Roy Terry during the 2014 school board candidacy.  As to the last item, if I recall correctly, was there was some discussion about the Patton administration conducting opposition research on behalf of Roy Terry?  Please share these documents with me once you receive them.

Please also ask Ms. Zinser why she has not responded to my public records request below.  I asked for the Outlook invitations and responses to the Erick Carter meeting that occurred in April 2016.

There should be no objection from staff to your request, and you should demand that they deliver the documents promptly.  As you know, Jon Fishbane typically conducts investigations.  But you indicated that he threw this responsibility back on to you, and it would seem that Jon Fishbane is conflicted in this anyway given that he serves at the will of the Superintendent.  You should insist that staff complies, so you can do your job as the people’s elected representative and get to the bottom of this.

This whole campaign issue might also be relevant to other recent concerns about possible orchestration regarding the Mason Classical Academy contract extension and the timing of the attempted NDN/Hammerschlag hit piece that came out, followed closely by the apparent desires of Roy Terry, Erick Carter and Stephanie Lucarelli to re-open discussion on a ministerial item for the signing of a contract extension which the board had already unanimously approved in March. If not for the efforts of Mason’s administration, its legal counsel, and other concerned citizens, this Mason episode might have turned out much worse.

Ms. Zinser – do you intend to acknowledge and respond to the public records request I sent you a  week ago?  Or has Mr. Fishbane instructed you once again to withhold public records from me, similar to the sworn testimony you gave back in December 2015?

Sincerely,

Steve Bracci

Folks, this really stinks.  And I believe it goes beyond the Communications Department.  I suspect it lies at the feet of Superintendent Kamela Patton.

 

Did the School District Administration Interfere in the 2016 School Board Campaign?

By Steve Bracci:

6/7/2017  – Today I sent an e-mail to the Collier County School Board, noting similarities between a recent modification of a Naples Daily News article to soften a very concerning statement by School Board member Erick Carter whereby he suggested that the United States should not call itself a “republic” because of the “immediate connotation” to the People’s Republic of China.!!

This episode harkened back to Summer 2016 when the Collier County School District’s communications department was tracking campaign news coverage and coordinating with the Naples Daily News for then-candidates Erick Carter and Stephanie Lucarelli.

Here’s my e-mail:

Board– do you know why the Naples Daily News softened the wording of the article about Mr. Carter’s comments describing why we cannot call our nation a republic because of its “immediate connotation” with the People’s Republic of China?

See attached highlights, comparing the two forms of the article, including the change to the article in the middle of the night at 3:27 a.m.  Did someone get the infamous 3 a.m. call?

[original article linked here]

[revised article linked here]

Is this the result of more orchestration between the District and the Naples Daily News – similar to last summer’s orchestration between the District’s Communications Department and NDN Editor Allen Bartlett during the course of the campaign for school board — with the intended purpose of changing the paper’s coverage to read more favorably for then-candidates Carter and Lucarelli?

See attached e-mail from June 2016, showing the District’s orchestration with NDN/Bartlett.  When Leanne Zinser asked Allen Bartlett to change the Carter/Lucarelli coverage, Bartlett responded “I’m on it.”When Zinser made the requested change, she said:  “If you could please have someone fix it, we’d very much appreciate it!”Who is the “we” in that sentence?  Logically, it can only mean the Patton Administration who seems to be interfering in the school board election, using District resources.

[Zinser – Bartlett June 20, 2016 email linked here]

By contrast, in August 2016 when David Bolduc asked Bartlett to balance out the negative reporting about candidate Lee Dixon with some similar important reporting about candidate Stephanie Lucarelli’s $1.4 MM home foreclosure, Bartlett refused to assist by responding:  “I am independent of and have absolutely nothing to do with the news operation.  Newsrooms are designed that way to create a separation.”See attached e-mail.

[Bolduc – Bartlett August 20, 2016 email linked here]

Ms. Donalds– as the champion for increased School District audits, will the next “best practices” audit look at the propriety of the Patton Administration’s communications department tracking election news coverage and orchestrating with the Naples Daily News to gain favorable coverage for certain school board candidates during the 2016 election?

Also with respect to “best practices” and coordination with school board candidates, the Patton Administration’s finance department orchestrated heavily with then-candidate Mr. Carter to bring him up to speed on budget issues, utilizing District resources.  Look up the dozens of e-mails between Mr. Carter and Siobhan Fox between April and July 2016.  School District budget issues were discussed quite heavily during the election debates, and I am sure that the information and assistance provided by the District’s finance department to Mr. Carter was quite helpful to him.

I brought this issue up at the Organizational meeting in November 2016.  Did Jon Fishbane or anyone else do anything about it, or did Jon and others just ignore it?

Ms. Donalds – If an audit finds that the actions of the Patton Administration were improper or even illegal, what happens next?

Finally, by copy to Leanne Zinser, this is a public records request for all original format Outlook invitations and replies for the District’s meeting with Erick Carter that took place in April 2016; also any other document that memorializes who attended the meeting with Carter, and what was discussed or anticipated to be discussed.

Sincerely,

Steve Bracci

I then followed up with a second e-mail to the School Board as follows:

Board – attached is a video of Mr. Carter from the July 14, 2016, school board candidate debate sponsored by the Florida Citizens Alliance, Inc.  Note Carter’s nuanced understanding of the School District’s budget.  This follows the material support Mr. Carter received from the Patton Administration’s finance department from April through early July, 2016.

The video is courtesy of the Florida Citizens’ Alliance, Inc.  The link to the complete video is as follows:

http://floridacitizensalliance.com/liberty/video-july-14-2016-collier-school-board-candidate-forum/

Ms. Donalds and Ms. Lichter – did you have this level of understanding of the District’s budget prior to being seated as a board member?

Sincerely,

Steve Bracci

 

 

Patton’s Textbook Committee “Community Member” Previously Showed Disdain for Parent Group

By Steve Bracci:

This post follows up on my April 13 post about Superintendent Patton leaving parents off of textbook committees, and my other April 13 post discussing how the District dubiously stated that there were “parents” on its committees.

Not only were there not any identified parents on the committees that selected textbooks for 13 school subjects, but Patton instead chose her close pal and friend-of-the-left, Theron Trimble, to act as the “community member/parent” for many of these selections.

Patton carefully selected “community” members such as Trimble to serve.  To begin to understand Trimble’s feelings about parents, listen to his own words at the May 12, 2015, school board meeting.  Trimble displays his apparent disdain for local group Parents ROCK by childishly referring to it as “Parents Crock:”

Trimble mentions his multiple degrees in this video.  How lucky we are to have such a studied man selecting our school district’s textbooks.   How highly intelligent of Trimble to figure out that “rock” rhymes with “crock,” and then to resort to name calling rather than presenting a substantive argument against Parents ROCK’s positions.

Did Trimble learn such name-calling  in his formal logic studies?  It seems not, for he would have learned that this is an ad hominem fallacy that is unbecoming of a true scholar.

Perhaps Theron learned how to name-call in a course on Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.”

Rule #5:  “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”

Hmmm, that might make a lot of sense.  What an ideal type of “community member” for Patton’s textbook selection committees.

US News & World Report – Plummeting Collier High School Rankings: Superintendent Patton’s Performance Review in Graphics

By David Bolduc:

U.S. News & World Report just released its 2017 high school rankings.  Collier County has plummeted for the second year in a row.  Here’s Superintendent Patton’s performance review in graphic form:

Patton’s Propaganda Machine Springs Into Action!!

By Steve Bracci:

Superintendent Kamela Patton’s massive communications marketing propaganda machine kicked into action on Friday 4/14, shortly after I sent my post about parents being left off of certain of the School District’s review committees.  In apparent response to my post, the District proclaimed in an e-mail blast:

“At the April 11, 2017, School Board Meeting, the recommendation of Instructional Materials Review Committees for Fine Arts, French, HOPE, and Social Studies were approved by the Board.  The committees were comprised of parents, community members, teachers, and school administrators.”

I view the assertion that the committees were “comprised of parents” in one of four ways.

  1. The assertion is false.
  2. The assertion is misleading.
  3. The District is incompetent.
  4. The District simply could not care less about fully informing the public.

Taking these arguments one at a time —

Alternative #1:  The assertion is false.  While the School District says that the committees were comprised of parents, it is undeniable that the committees referenced in my post did not include any members labeled as “parents.”  Rather, the book review committees I mentioned labeled the members only as “community member,” “teacher” or “administrator.”  See here:

By contrast, other book review committees did specifically include a labeled “parent.”  See here:

So based on the information provided by the District, it would appear that the District’s statement that the committees included “parents” is false.

Alternative #2:  The assertion is misleading.  The District’s statement that “the committees were comprised of parents, community members, teachers, and school administrators” could be technically correct, but still be misleading to the public.  Yes, if there were 20 different textbook review committees, and 12 of them had parents but the other 8 did not, it would nevertheless be a technically true statement that the “committees” — collectively — included parents.  But that does not mean that each committee included a parent.   Again, a possible mislead of the public here.

Also, perhaps it’s the case that a “school administrator” or “teacher” may also be a “parent.”  But that’s not indicated on the various committee textbook selection forms.  Is the public supposed to forensically review each named teacher or administrator to determine if they also have children in the school system?

Alternative #3:  The District is Incompetent.  If certain committees included “teachers” or “school administrators” who are also “parents,” then the District staff was apparently too incompetent to think about labeling these individuals as both “teacher” and “parent.”  Would that have been too much to ask, in order for the public to understand this important process — a process in which our legislators in Tallahassee determined a need for at least one parent to be included?

Alternative #4:  The District simply could not care less about fully informing the public.  Same principle here.  If the District truly cared about the public and parent input, they would identify the “parent” on each committee.

Why is this distinction between “parents” vs. “administrators” or “community members” important?  Any teachers or administrators who are also parents are ultimately employed by Superintendent Patton, and receive their paychecks from the Patton administration.  They are therefore beholden (and potentially pressured) by the Patton Administration to choose the “right book” — meaning this whole textbook selection process is just smoke-and-mirrors.  I am not saying that all teachers or administrators cannot act independently, but a truly independent “parent” must be included as a check and balance.  A court opinion dealing with the Sunshine Law is analagous on this point:

“It would be equally ludicrous to hold that a certain committee is governed by the Sunshine Law when it consists of members of the public, who are presumably acting for the public, but hold a committee may escape the Sunshine Law if it consists of individuals who owe their allegiance to, and receive their salaries from, the governing authority.”

News-Press Pub. Co., Inc. v. Carlson, 410 So.2d 546, 548 (Fla. 2d DCA 1982).

So because Patton and her administration have a level of control over the teachers and administrators, it would be disingenuous to say that a teacher or administrator serving on a textbook review committee is acting as a “parent.”  Their independence may be lost.

This harkens me back to my guest appearance on the Joe Whitehead Show in Fall 2015.  A teacher called into the show to express concerns about the Collier County School District.  I asked her why teachers rarely speak publicly at school board meetings — and when they do why they almost never oppose the School District.  Her response was that teachers are “afraid” to speak out, and that they are “being watched” (ie monitored) by the School District.  So what independence does a hybrid teacher/ administrator “parent” reviewer really have?  I would argue potentially very little, without fear of reprisal.

I contend that this textbook review is all just typical District window dressing.  The District will pick whichever book the upper administration wants.

 

 

Collier School District’s Textbook Review Selection Process Violates Sunshine Law

By Steve Bracci:

 

In follow-up to yesterday’s post about the School District leaving parents off of its textbook review committees, it would also appear that the closed-door textbook review selection process violates Florida’s Sunshine Law.  A committee — such as a textbook review committee — cannot meet privately and “eliminate” or “rank” possible choices, even if they only make a “recommendation.”  Even if the school board has the ultimate final decision, the lower committee cannot do this outside of the Sunshine.

Here, the textbook review committees met privately and eliminated textbook choices down to one book per subject.  That one choice was then recommended to the School Board on 4/11/2017.  The School Board — having only one choice per subject to choose from — voted to adopt the recommendations.  A classic “rubber stamp.”

The law is clear, as summarized in a court opinion called  “Silver Express.”  (click case name for link):

Governmental advisory committees which have offered up structured recommendations such as here involved—at least those recommendations which eliminate opportunities for alternative choices by the final authority, or which rank applications for the final authority—have been determined to be agencies governed by the Sunshine Law. . . . .  In Spillis Candela & Partners, Inc. v. Centrust Savings Bank, 535 So.2d 694 (Fla. 3d DCA 1988), we stated:

“The law is quite clear. An ad hoc advisory board, even if its power is limited to making recommendations to a public agency and even if it possesses no authority to bind the agency in any way, is subject to the Sunshine Law. The committee here, made a ruling affecting the decision-making process and it was of significance. As a result, it was improper for the committee to reach its recommendation in private since that constituted a violation of the Sunshine Law.”

This is precisely what happened with these textbook review committees.   The met privately, they eliminated textbook choices and publishers, they made a final recommendation or selection, and they submitted it to the school board for final approval.

I believe this is a Sunshine Law violation, and thus the action of the Board to approve these textbook choices on 4/11/2017 is VOID.

Superintendent Patton Leaves Parents off of Textbook Review Committees in Violation of Florida Law

By Steve Bracci:

Superintendent Kamela Patton has once again proverbially thumbed her nose at Collier County parents, this time leaving them off of textbook review committees in violation of Florida law.

At the School Board meeting on April 11, 2017, Patton presented to the school board the final “selections” of the Superintendent’s textbook review committees.   The board then voted to approve all textbook selections.

Florida Statute 1006.283 states that “If a district school board chooses to implement its own instructional materials program, the school board shall adopt rules…which must include…Selection of reviewers, one or more of whom must be parents with children in public schools.

The textbooks for these 13 subjects were selected by committees with no parent member:

Middle School Civics, United States Government, Constitutional Law Honors, Court Procedures, Legal Systems & Concepts, Law Studies, Comprehensive Law Studies, AP United States Government & Politics, AP Comparative Government & Politics, Sociology, Psychology I & II, AP Psychology, AP Human Geography.

Click on the above links for proof.

These are important courses, and our Florida Legislature believes it is in the best interest of Florida citizens and students that the textbook review committees include at least one parent reviewer.  Apparently Superintendent Patton thinks that she is above the law enacted by our representatives in Tallahassee.

The snubbing of parents has been a theme with Superintendent Patton for years now, dating back to her planned 2013 closed door takeover of after school programs.  Back then the district announced the takeover a day before the end of the school year, and followed through with the takeover despite 700+ parents who signed a petition protesting the Patton Administration.  This episode ultimately led to the formation of the Parents ROCK organization (“Parents Rights of Choice for Kids”).

Four years later — and Patton is still disrespecting parents.

Folks, you should e-mail your school board members and the Superintendent, and demand that the school board’s approval of these 13 course textbooks must be rescinded since they are void ab initio in violation of Florida law.

A complete do-over is required — WITH PARENT REPRESENTATION!

Send your emails to:

Lichter, Kelly <lichteke@collierschools.com>; Donalds, Erika <donale@collierschools.com>; Carter, Erick <cartee1@collierschools.com>; Lucarelli, Stephanie <lucars@collierschools.com>; Terry, Roy <TerryRo@collierschools.com>; Patton, Kamela <patton@collierschools.com>

 

 

“RED FLAG!” – Why Is Superintendent Patton Resisting an independent audit??

By Steve Bracci:

At the April 11, 2017, school board meeting in Everglades City, Collier County School Superintendent Kamela Patton practically commandeered the meeting in order to fight tooth-and-nail against having an independent auditor review the school district’s financial and operational practices.  Patton has been successful in fending off such an independent audit since the beginning of her reign in 2011.

Patton’s filibustering resistance was so strong that board member Erika Donalds — herself a CPA and CFO of a large financial services company — told the board that in the private world, if a CEO such as Patton so strongly resisted an independent audit, it would be a major “RED FLAG.”

Board member Kelly Lichter joined in calling out the “RED FLAG.”

District General Counsel Jon Fishbane — who may be retained or fired by the Superintendent and therefore serves at her will rather than the board’s — went beyond simply providing legal guidance and seemingly advocated a position against an audit, steering the conversation in other directions.  Fishbane has served alongside Patton since the beginning of her reign in 2011.

Remember back in January how Obama bragged that his administration was “scandal free?”  They thought that Trump would never beat Hillary, and therefore the skeletons would never be revealed.  Look how much has now turned up in a couple months’ time under the eyes of Trump and his new administrators.

Could it be that Superintendent Patton does not want an independent auditor looking under the hood?  It sure seems that way.

And oh, by the way, Patton sure seems comfortable with that Gallagher company that she hand-picked to conduct a lesser review.

I will link to the school board video once it is posted.

Blue Zones, Sunshine, and the Naples Daily News

By Steve Bracci:

“Kicks” to the Naples Daily News editorial board for its April 1 print edition piece supporting the Blue Zones Project® by stating that “Government should be in the Sunshine ……unless perhaps that shade is blue.”  This is hypocrisy, or perhaps the editors are just April fools.

Taken literally, the NDN editorial board is saying that it is just fine that our various local governments’ participation in Blue Zones occurs behind closed doors and outside of public view.   Why not, since the Naples Daily News’  paw prints are all over it?

In June 2015, the Blue Zones Project manager e-mailed the Blueprint to the steering committee, instructing that “this document shall not be public record or shared until after you have signed and approved it in July.”  Naples Daily News President Barker – with first-hand knowledge of this instruction to conceal a public record – apparently went along.

The NDN’s three-person editorial board includes its president, William “Bill” Barker.  In 2015, Barker joined the “Blue Zones Project Steering Committee” that met behind closed doors alongside 6 local government officials including Superintendent Kamela Patton and County Commissioner Penny Taylor.  Their purpose:  to orchestrate the for-profit Blue Zones Project’s® infiltration into our local governments and other elite local establishments.   It was all described in a Blue Zones Blueprint developed by Barker and his fellow steering committee members.  In June 2015, the Blue Zones Project manager e-mailed the Blueprint to the steering committee, instructing that “this document shall not be public record or shared until after you have signed and approved it in July.”

Naples Daily News President Barker – with first-hand knowledge of this instruction to conceal a public record – apparently went along.  Barker’s NDN newspaper never reported on the contents of the Blueprint, nor on the fact that our public officials were about to sign it.  Worse yet, Superintendent Patton kept that document from the public until a school board member forced her to produce it.  Despite the public not having seen the Blueprint, Barker ran an editorial two days before the school district’s final 9/8/2015 vote, telling readers that “the debate is over” and that the school district should adopt the very Blueprint that Barker helped to conceal.

This is what our local newspaper of record calls “Blue Zones in the Sunshine.”

Click here for the Naples Daily News editorial.

Whither the Parents??

David Bolduc, President, Parents Rights of Choice for Kids, Inc. (“Parents ROCK”)

January 8, 2017

In a Daily News article regarding Collier County’s high school graduation rate increase, Superintendent Kamela Patton stated, “We appreciate the efforts of our dedicated teachers, staff and our strong community partners.” Which begs the question, what happened to parents? Do they no longer exist? Apparently, according to Superintendent Patton’s statement, they have been replaced by her community partners.

Superintendent Kamela Patton stated, “We appreciate the efforts of our dedicated teachers, staff and our strong community partners.” Which begs the question, what happened to parents? Do they no longer exist?

With this in mind, and since we are in NFL Playoff season, Parents ROCK, the parent advocacy group which encourages more transparency and accountability at the Collier County School District, would like to throw a red challenge flag on a recent guest editorial by one of Patton’s community partners, Maria Jimenez-Lara, CEO of the Naples Children and Education Foundation.

Specifically, Parents ROCK feels that Ms. Jimenez-Lara’s claim of Collier’s increasing graduation rate is indicative of superior classroom performance, should go under the hood for further review from different angles where student achievement can be compared across District and State lines.

Perhaps no nationally normed achievement test does a better job of measuring the effectiveness of a school district preparing their students to succeed in college and careers as the ACT. For those of you not familiar with the ACT, it measures selected skills and acquired knowledge in high school and is designed to predict the likelihood of student success in freshman college courses.

For 2014-15, the last ACT test year posed on the Collier School District website, 18 percent of Collier County students tested college ready in all four subjects; English, Math, Reading and Science. Comparatively, 19 percent of Florida students tested college ready in all four subjects, while 28 percent of students across the nation tested college ready in all four subjects. In other words, not only do we trail the state in this key academic achievement measurement, but Collier County is 36 percent below the national average in preparing our students to succeed in college.

Interestingly, in 2010-11, the last year Patton was in a senior leadership role at Dade County Public Schools, Dade County experienced a similar dramatic increase with their graduation rate, yet the Miami Herald reported in December 2012, “In 2010-11, 54 percent of students coming out of high school failed at least one subject on the Florida College System’s placement test, Florida’s remedial education needs are much greater than in many other states, and the numbers are worse at Miami Dade College [175,000 students] where 63 percent of high school graduates take at least one remedial course upon enrollment.”

Couple Superintendent Patton’s ACT State and National underperformance with her stated goal to transition Collier County Public Schools towards digital learning, where teachers no longer control classroom content and are relegated to facilitators of state approved content, and Collier students are facing some very difficult student achievement headwinds.

In 2015, MIT published a paper where they studied Economics courses at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and found average final exam scores among students assigned to classrooms that allowed computer learning were 18 percent lower than exam scores in classrooms that prohibited computers. In other words, digital learning lowered test scores of highly intelligent and motivated West Point Cadets by an astonishing 18 percent. The MIT study further warned, “We also find modest evidence that computer usage is most detrimental to male students and to students who entered the course with a high grade point average (GPA).” This finding might explain why the number of Collier County students scoring a 5, the highest score, on AP Biology, AP Chemistry and AP Physics has decreased by 83 percent since Superintendent Patton’s arrival in 2011.

Overall, although Collier County spends close to a billion of your tax dollars on an annual basis to tout higher graduation rates, they appear to be smoke and mirrors. Yes, more students are graduating from high school; however, many are not prepared for the real world, and unfortunately, a vast majority are not “college and career ready”. Parents ROCK is all for celebrating student success, let’s just make sure the measurable being celebrated relates to student achievement.