Outgoing Superintendent Pratt-Dannals documents progress in speech

JACKSONVILLE - It has been five years since Ed Pratt-Dannals first gave a speech in front of the Duval County School Board as superintendent of Duval County Public Schools.

In the State of Duval Schools progress report Tuesday night, Pratt-Dannals discussed the successes and failures during his tenure.

"When you look back at the last five years, we've made progress in some key areas," Pratt-Dannals said.

A major improvement has been in high school graduate figures. In Pratt-Dannals' last five years, 19 percent more students graduated high school.

The number of schools with satisfactory grades or higher has more than doubled, and Duval has the largest dual enrollment program in the state of Florida.

The number of students who have passed advanced learning exams has also doubled in the last five years.

"No longer is it good enough to have students that graduate from high school alone; they have to graduate and be prepared to go on to the next level and be successful," Pratt-Dannals said.

The high turnover rates of new teachers and budget problems that weighed down Duval County were not included in Monday night's presentation.

"We've had our worst fiscal crisis in the last four decades. Look at the gap. That is a 20-percent reduction in inflated dollars," said Pratt-Dannals.

The School Board has tabbed Nikolai Vitti from Miami as the district's next leader. Negotiations to get him under contract are under way.

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