TAMPA — Schools are crowded. Success coaches are being redeployed to classrooms. And thousands of middle and high school students will lose their bus rides in August.
1 Day Ago
5 Months Ago
5 Months Ago
"Is it worth compromising safety to save money?" Alonso High School student Paola Meneses asked the Hillsborough County School Board on Tuesday.
The yearly high school forum was a chance to vent — about the usual issues, such as lunchroom food and grade point average formulas — and topics that are in the news as the district tries to cut costs.
This time, the elected board members decided to mix things up.
Melissa Snively called on those students with complaints to come up with ideas for improvement, as they will have to do when they enter the workplace. How exactly would they evaluate teachers? What exactly would they do to change exam exemptions?
Chairwoman Cindy Stuart, who has sat through four years of these events, said she wants the board to hold a workshop to consider some of the students' ideas.
"Even if we implement one, I think we're making progress," she said.
Student forums, a ritual that has grown to include middle schools, typically engage the top students — the class presidents and valedictorians.
Not surprisingly, many of the questions touch on issues such as the need for a study hall, or whether advanced placement teachers should have advanced degrees.
Clay Adams of Plant City High wanted to know why he had to contend with misbehaving students while he tried to learn.
"Right now I feel that the disciplinary measures that are in place are not harsh enough to teach the students that what they are doing is wrong," he said.
Several in the group called for a paperless education. From Steinbrenner High in Lutz, Carlos Tirado said he did not want to drive all the way to the Florida State Fairgrounds for graduation.
From Tampa Bay Technical High, Cierra Celerin laid out this argument for eliminating homework: "Recent research has indicated that homework sets up a classist grading system that rewards students that have free time at home and punishes students that have to work or care for younger siblings."
She got no argument from School Board member Sally Harris, who told her, "I think homework was put in place to tear families apart."
Contact Marlene Sokol at (813) 226-3356 or [email protected] Follow @marlenesokol.
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