Coral Springs Florida 12 /12/21 🙁 first Draft) In October of 1991 , Coral Springs Middle School was one of 56 middle schools in the nation to receive the National School of Excellence award from the US Department of Education. At that time, President George Bush pursued quality learning and awarded schools that were able to improve learning for their students.
When you are driving on Wiles Road between Coral Springs Drive and Coral Hills Drive, you may have noticed Coral Springs Middle School on the South Side of the road. Most school days across the street a the entrance to the Betty Straddling park, there is a police officer with a radar gun. He sits non-conspicuously on his motorcycle snaring bad drivers speeding through the school zone.
The Officer has a great view across the street of the Middle School’s fading blue sign “1990-91 National School of Excellence” moulding away with the Presidential seal. Perhaps when the officer feels that it is embarrassing that no one has taken care to maintain a sign that has a United States of America Presidential Seal. Perhaps the officer is thing how embarrassing it is that no one has taken care to maintain the quality of education in the school behind it.
Thirty years ago the city pursued the best quality education for students. Coral Ridge Properties, the major land developer in Coral Springs, was doing what every large home developer would do: Provide their sales people with the right material to sell more homes. Nothing sells more homes to young families than the quality of the schools.
Every real estate agent in the city drank the cool-aid and of course always pointed to the 1990-91 National School of Excellence sign on the building as they whisked their dazzled customers to another showing of a home for sale. No doubt they do the same thing today, with the help of a few trees in front of the building that cover up the 1990-91 old date.
How does Coral Springs Middle School Rank today?
According to US News Coral Springs Middles School ranks #39 out of 113 or so middle schools in Broward County and #398 in all of Florida . ( see article click here) . That should be great news right?
However drilling down on the facts show that the school today has 1182 students with a 69% minority population and the worst student to teacher ratio of 23:1 in the county. 49% of the students are considered to be disadvantaged. If this is #39 in the county, how bad must the #110 be ?
However looking at all of the other Middle schools in the city, Coral Springs Middle is no different than most. There seems to be an inverse correlation between the high percentage of minority population to the score. Reading levels and Math levels are lower and so are the rankings. This is not the case with West Glades Middle School in the affluent Parkland area, where they score higher and the minority population is far less.
Problem : Broward County School Board Does not Represent the Population.
Is it a coincidence that even though Broward County has an 80% minority student population , 80% of the School Board isn’t :
To be fair, I am not sure of the cultural back ground of every member of the Board. Perhaps there are a few that are also considered to be in the minority population, but not 80%. The one thing that is certain is that they do not represent the make up of Broward County.
Of course the new ‘Cancel Culture’ terminology that was never present in 1990-91 will no doubt offer a different explanation. Throughout Florida I am sure there is the same make up of the School boards and if anything , so is the State of Florida. There are those that would say these are the people elected by the citizens of the county.
The main requirement of all of these board members is that they had enough money and advantage to run for elected office.
Perhaps all of these board members need to start focusing on the problems at hand and at least acknowledge the fact that there is a problem.
Wake Up Call: We Need Better
In an article in Sun Sentinel about the receipt of the award Linda Ellis writes :
” A new, colorful flag is flying in the media center at Coral Springs Middle School, reminding staff and students of their latest achievement — selection as a National School of Excellence”
– ( from the article “MIDDLE SCHOOL RECEIVES HONORS FOR ACHIEVEMENTS” by Ellis , Sun Sentinel Oct 2 1991 click here to view)
Perhaps this National School of Excellence sign that is succumbing to the elements of the weather, may remind those that are responsible for the tax money that we provide for ‘quality ‘ education that they need to do a better job. They need to bring back the brilliance of education that used to be the main selling point offered up by the real estate agents.
If not, at least paint over the sign that no longer represents what is really happening inside the Coral Springs Middle School building, so we do not have to be reminded of the failing grade of the Broward County School Board.