ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County Public Schools has opened a new office dedicated to narrowing the achievement gap between white and underperforming minority students.
The office is called the Minority Achievement Office and is reporting on its strategies to the school board.
County, the achievement gap between white, Hispanic, and black students has remained virtually unchanged over the past five years.
Officials said the goal of the Minority Achievement Office is to change that.
"What frustrates us is even as test scores go up, the gap doesn't shrink," Orange County School Board Chair Bill Sublette said.
"We've got to get OCPS out of neutral."
Orange County Public Schools decided to dedicate a team of nine people to the task.
They include five resource teachers and a counselor.
Between them and a shoestring budget of $35,000 Sublette hopes to solve a decades-old problem rooted mainly in the cycle of poverty.
"It comes down to treating every student as an individual not as a collective whole, and figure out what is the difference for that individual student," Sublette said.
Sublette hopes to see the office focus on intensive tutoring for struggling students.
"Parents will see I hope some real individualized attention given to their student," Sublette said.