The Brink Foundation
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Hillsborough students slip behind peers in Florida, analysis shows

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school officials are seeing the flip side of living by the numbers. They can make you look spectacular. Or they can mask a world of complications.

State ranks Hillsborough 38 of 67 school districts

TAMPA - We're No. 38.

That's where the Hillsborough County School District ranks among Florida's 67 counties in first-ever rankings released by the Florida Department of Education.

The department issued those rankings this morning based on how students scored on last year's standardized public school examination, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

Giving Hope for the Holidays..............

When Charles Brink's company took off and became worth more money than he ever expected, he and his family vowed they would use that blessing to make a difference in other people's lives.

They decided to form the Brink Foundation, an organization that has wowed everyone associated with the donation center at Metropolitan Ministries because of its overwhelming generosity.

Brink Foundation and Metropolitan Ministries partner on Holiday Food and Toy Drive

Charles and Linda Brink rolled up to Metropolitan Ministries' main holiday tent last November with a rental truck so full of food the tires buckled.

After the Brinks, along with their son Chris, helped unload the goods, Linda watched the parents and children who gathered at the tent. They came not only to receive donations but to rest and build their hope in difficult times.

Questions spur review of school service contracts.....

TAMPA -- Questions about a contract for a teen mentoring program have spurred a top-level internal investigation and possible changes in how future agreements are approved and evaluated by Hillsborough County schools.

Brink Foundation supports greater access to public information....

Jose Colindres of The Brink Foundation, a local family organization that works with low-income and minority communities to improve education, thinks the district can do more. He said other professionals, including doctors and lawyers, already provide such information online.

"What's more important than your teachers?'' said Colindres, who argues the results should be made public sooner.

Brink Foundation calls for Hillsborough County school district to make data public....

Then there is the matter of all that money, all those educator observations (more than 40,000 last year) and the treasure trove of data now in the district's possession. Jose Colindres, who runs a foundation for poor and minority students, wanted to know when that data might be made public for parents.

The answer from Elia: The district needs to make sure it doesn't violate a law that protects teacher evaluations the first year.

"We're still analyzing it," she said.

Hillsborough falls among Florida school districts....

Behind last week's release of the latest school grades was unflattering news for the Pinellas and Hillsborough districts: a drop in rank among other Florida school systems.

Hillsborough fell from No. 24 to No. 38 among the state's 67 districts this year while Pinellas is No. 49, down from No. 40. Among the 12 biggest districts Hillsborough is now ninth and Pinellas is 10th.

Hillsborough's district grade also dipped — from an A to a B — while Pinellas held on to a B for an eighth straight year despite coming as close as it ever has to a C.

Hillsborough Hispanic FCAT Scores Lagging Behind Scores of Peers Statewide

TAMPA — They are the largest minority group in the Hillsborough schools.

They are descendants of Cuban settlers, children of South American construction workers and farm laborers in Ruskin and Plant City.

And, on average, their Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test scores need help.

An analysis by The St. Petersburg Times shows Hillsborough Hispanic students are scoring worse than their counterparts across the state. By one measure, that gap has been widening for a decade.

Brink Foundation stresses need for greater transparency, access to information and accountability...

Jose Colindres, chief operating officer of a social service agency in Westchase, told the board Tuesday he supported that goal. But he was taken aback by the lack of detail in the agenda item, which didn't indicate just how much "above $50,000" the plan would actually cost.

Events
Hillsborough County School Board Meeting- 8/29@ 3 PM

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Raymond O. Shelton School Administration Center
901 East Kennedy Blvd
Tampa, Fl 33602

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In the Tampa Bay area public school districts are entrusted with multi billion dollar budgets that directly impact over 500,000 students, 50,000 employees and thousands of vendors and service providers.

Elected school boards in each of the counties are tasked with overseeing these dollars and providing oversight.

Ultimately, however,it falls upon the citizenry to monitor the conduct and expenditures of public dollars and the quality of education being provided to children.

Reports of many children struggling to attain a quality public education have been featured prominently in the local media and underscores the need for parents, family members and all stakeholders to actively participate in the educational process.

Please consider attending an upcoming school board meeting to add your voice to the call for a high quality public education for all children.