• Poor reading scores means longer school days for some central Fla. students


    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - The school day will be a little longer at Endeavour Elementary School when the new session starts next month. The Brevard County School District has moved up the start time by an hour.

    Officials said the new start time is because the school performed so poorly on state tests.

    Jessie Smiley was born and raised in Cocoa. He has three grandchildren attending Endeavour Elementary. He said he doesn't ever recall it being a high-performing school.

    This year the school earned a D rating from the state and landed on the state's list of the 300 lowest-performing elementary schools in Reading.

    Brevard County's University Park Elementary School and Odyssey Preparatory Charter Academy are also on that list.

    "We want better for our kids. We want them to learn. We want them to be smarter, to progress and advance in the world. How can we do that when we keep them saddled down somewhere like that?" said Smiley.

    The state is requiring the lowest reading -performing schools to have an extra hour of reading instruction each school day next year. That will mean extended school hours at three Brevard County schools, four schools in Volusia County, two in Seminole County, 23 Orange County schools, four in Lake County, five in Marion County and 23 in Polk County.

    "An extra hour isn't going to make a difference; it's just going to make the kids more aggravated," said parent Dollie Harris, who has two children at Endeavour Elementary.

    Harris said she is not convinced the state's plan will work. 

    She said that she has considered moving so her children could attend a higher performing school.

    "If I were gifted I'd take my kids out of school and teach them myself," said Harris.

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