JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Eunice Barnum came out Tuesday night to City Hall looking for one thing.
"I need answers," Barnum said.
Barnum is a grandparent raising four children in Duval County Public Schools. And to put it simply - is fed up, especially when it comes to the FCAT.
"If its not working for the children then it needs to be gone," she said.
So armed with questions about the state of public schools in Florida, she demanded answers from state Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. Robinson was in town Tuesday to host his "Conversation with the Commissioner" forum.
Dozens of people showed up, including Action News who came to get answers for parents.
We asked him about the major discrepancy between St. Johns County and Duval. St. Johns consistently is among the top in the state for education, Duval County among the worst. We wanted to know how that happens.
Robinson replied with, "Well as you know there's a difference in population. It isn't an excuse, but it's a factor."
We also asked why Florida is one of the lowest in the nation when it comes to per pupil spending. Robinson said, "Well, the Governor has invested an additional $1 billion in K-12 education. We have $150 more per student than we did last year. Some will say that's not enough, but it's $150 more than we had before so we're moving in the right direction.
And when it comes to the FCAT, Robinson says changes are already in the works. But it's not going to get better tomorrow. Official school grades come out Wednesday, and the state says there will be less A and B schools and more D and F.
"We know that in Florida whenever we raise the standard there's a dip and then over time there is actually an increase, so it fell in line with what we predicted," said Robinson.
It wasn't the answer Barnum or her four kids, one who is facing a summer of school, wanted to hear.
"If they can't educate the children then we don't need to be paying for failure, failure's free," she said.
The Florida Department of Education is expected to release the 2012 school grades for elementary, middle and some combination schools Wednesday morning.