JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Action News talks with the new Education Commissioner about his plan to help Duval County Schools.
Dr. Donnie Horner is confident. "I know what it takes to run a classroom. I know what a good education looks like," said Dr. Horner.
That's why he thinks Mayor Alvin Brown picked him to be the Education Commissioner. Duval County has a big challenge. Seven of its schools are designated as intervene schools by the state. That means they're under-performing. Dr. Horner says in order to change that, they need to get the community involved. "We need to change the dialog. The first thing is to engage the community, and make sure the community knows we're committed to this," said Dr. Horner.
Dr. Horner's been meeting with non-profits, concerned parents and looking at programs. He met with teacher's Friday morning. He says the problem is there's no money to spend on extra stuff. So they have to be creative. That's why he's asking everyone to step up. "Parents we need you. Guardians we need you. We need folks in the community. We need to support kids in school," said Dr. Horner.
In order for the schools to get out of intervene status, they have to get at least a C. The superintendent has promised to have 90 percent of 3rd grade students at reading proficiency in four years. He also predicts there will be no "F" schools, and no "D" or "F" elementary schools.