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Statewide teachers union president says it's not surprising that student performance is dropping

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

More Florida schools earned Fs on this year’s state report cards compared with in 2019. WMFE’s Danielle Prieur spoke with Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar about what’s causing this slide in performance. 

It’s the first year since the start of the pandemic that school grades were calculated by the Florida Department of Education.

Across the state about sixteen more schools got F letter grades than in 2019. In Central Florida, Orange County Public Schools was the only district to receive Fs. 

Andrew Spar, the president of the Florida Education Association says this dip in performance is to be expected. 

“I think those two factors, COVID and the massive teacher and staff shortage is certainly having an impact on student performance.”

Spar says the only way to solve this problem is to pay teachers more and to get them involved in school- and state-wide policymaking.

“Florida has to look at policies around pay. And around how we help kids, especially kids who live in poverty. And those policies should be driven by people in the profession, not by people who don’t understand what it takes to make sure that kids are learning and getting the support they need to be successful in our schools and in life.”

Fewer Florida schools also received As and Bs, putting most schools firmly in the C and D range for the year.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.