The Other Side of Collier County’s “A” School District Rating

This week, the State Department of Education reported that the Collier County School District has returned to an “A” district.  This, of course, is generally good news.  But as always, one must look under the statistical hood to see how this rise from “B” to “A” was achieved in one year’s time.  More on this to come soon in a B&B post…….

Meantime, on yesterday’s 6/29/2017 edition of the popular local “Bob Harden Show,” host Bob Harden referenced Bolduc & Bracci’s recent post as a news source in which we cited national journalist and author Alex Newman and exposed the problem of the School District’s terribly low third grade reading scores.  Mr. Harden concluded that despite the school district’s “A” score, this exposes the problem with the establishment and the School District.  Here is that segment, courtesy of “The Bob Harden Show.”


Bob Harden: “I think this exposes exactly what the problems are with the Establishment and what’s going on in Collier County Schools.  Again, we spend $22,000 a student to educate our kids here in Collier County, about almost double — maybe more than double — than what the average is across the country and yet we get pretty mediocre results.” 

Deirdre Clemons, a local parent who has extensively written and spoken publicly on issues of education, Common Core, and deficiencies in the way in which students are taught in our public schools, also responded to the District’s reported “A” rating as follows:

“Too bad we are still 45th in the nation in college ready scores. In other words, not college ready at all. All your good scores don’t mean a thing if a child is not educated well enough to get into a good college or well enough to support oneself independently with a job skill – one in which they can advance and earn enough to raise a family in a safe neighborhood.

 I would love to see the numbers on how many Collier kids go to college, how many get scholarships (the amounts and reasons why), how many remedial classes they have to take to get caught up, how many finish college and on what timetable, what grades they end up with, what debt they end up with, and if they can get jobs in their field at a decent living wage to be independent of their parents. And I would also ask them if they thought their education was worth it. 

While CCPS is busy trying to make itself look like Massachusetts in education, the joke is on the parents, and the tragedy is on the kids, and their future. “Future Ready Collier” is just a name. Smoke and mirrors is what Ms. Patton is best at, besides self-aggrandizement. Shame on the Collier County public school system for working so hard to make the administration look so great, great enough for all those folks in the admin building to make the big bucks, while these poor children are left behind the rest of the nation. You would think that spending more than twice as much as every other county, 22k per child, we would be a shining model.  You certainly are taking the taxpayers for a ride. It is absolutely shameful.”

Ms. Clemons’ response was a summarization of a more thorough guest commentary which the Naples Daily News refused to publish a year ago.  That guest commentary is linked here as part of B&B’s featured “Letters Not Published by the Editor.”

Thank you Bob Harden and Deirdre Clemons for your contributions to today’s post.