FAMU DRS striving to repair academic standing

Faculty members of Florida A&Ms Developmental Research School and FAMUs College of Education are teaming up to improve the history of FAMU DRSs school grade.

We dont like it that this school is a D school, said Patricia Green-Powell, interim dean of the College of Education. So weve got to try some very different strategies to get us to be an A; to get us to be a B. We are not even looking at C.

Green-Powell said the College of Education is inviting its doctorate students and master level students to take part in mentoring and partnering with the teachers at DRS.

She has been working with Patricia Hodge, superintendent of FAMU DRS, to improve the schools grade through bettering teaching practices.

To help bridge the gap, Green-Powell and Hodge held a social meeting of different faculty members and concerned students to discuss plans and ideas for turning the school around.

Its important to me because we need to bridge the excellence, said Jasmine Washington, a student teacher at FAMU DRS and Miss College of Education.

Washington also said that there is a lot of student involvement from the College of Education, and she hopes other events like the social meeting Wednesday will prompt more student involvement.

According to the Florida Department of Educations website, FAMU DRS has historically been a C, D or F school. The school was given an F grade during the 2006-07 academic year.

Hodges said she is unsure if the teachers’ lack of following curriculum led to low test scores. However, she thinks frequent progress checks on students will improve the school’s academic standing.

So it has just been years of not really following through and not really making sure that the kids were really getting what they needed in order to be successful, she said.

Hodge said she has seen the change in the students test scores, which improved from the year before. But due to changes in the cut scores, Hodge said, students had difficulty making the scores needed to maintain the schools C grade.

But thats OK, Hodge said. Weve absorbed that and now we know how much harder they need to push in order to get there, Hodge said. But our sense is that at least because weve absorbed that, we took the hit and what have you, our kids are gaining with enough speed now and where its consistent now that at least this year, you should see a gain in the school grade.

Hodge and Green-Powell hope to see the schools grade continue to increase year by year until they become an A school.