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Visiting Crist hails progress of Riviera Beach elementary school

by George Bennett | October 2nd, 2009

Gov. Charlie Crist and wife Carole at Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School in Riviera Beach. LANNIS WATERS/Staff photographer

Gov. Charlie Crist and wife Carole at Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School in Riviera Beach. LANNIS WATERS/Staff photographer

RIVIERA BEACH — After visiting an elementary school that has improved from a D grade to an A in four years, Gov. Charlie Crist said public schools in Florida and Palm Beach County are “on the rise.”

Crist and his wife, Carole Crist, visited Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School this morning, greeting cafeteria workers, administrators and safety patrols and stopping in on three classes.

Crist is also slated to meet with restaurateurs in Palm Beach County today and to attend a fund-raiser in Manalapan tonight for his U.S. Senate bid.

“I can’t tell you how impressed I am with your school and your accomplishments here and what you’ve been able to do in a short period of time,” Crist said after being shown around by principal Glenda Sheffield.

Bethune Elementary got an F grade in 2002 based on its Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test scores and was a D school in 2006. After Sheffield became principal, the school got C grades in 2007 and 2008 and an A this year.

“You’re an A school. And it wasn’t that long ago that Bethune Elementary wasn’t an A school. That kind of gain and that kind of accomplishment is exactly what Florida students deserve and what they should have,” Crist said.

Asked about the controversy in Palm Beach County over its use of tests roughly every three weeks to measure whether students are on track, Crist gave a vote of confidence to Superintendent Art Johnson.

“I think we’re getting better every day,” Crist said. “I think that’s the message we want to convey to people that may have concerns. Florida’s on the rise and Palm Beach County clearly is on the rise. The leadership that Art has provided here is exceptional.”

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8 Responses to “Visiting Crist hails progress of Riviera Beach elementary school”

  1. frances snoot Says:


  2. Admirer Says:

    Carole looks good

  3. jw Says:

    A quick stop to score political points…………who cares! He has no clue what is going on in our county and how out of touch Johnson is.


    It’s time Gov Crist finds out what is going on in our county.

    He is running for office. He doesn’t want to alienate thousands of voters.

    Time to create a petition asking Crist’s help advising him that Art J. refuses to listen to the concerns of thousands of educators/staff/parents in his county.

    Instead Johnson launches a propaganda crusade saying everything’s great. COMPROMISE, MODIFY, LISTEN TO THOSE YOU SERVE and get out of defense mode.

    Let’s round up some PTA’s to rent some buses and lobby Tallahassee for people to LISTEN to us.

  5. OOPs Says:

    Stop trying to get points, all of a sudden you are going to schools with little children trying to get some points for yourself. Keep your negative comments to yourself,you probably would cheat just like Reagan did, yeah he took care of business alright, are you owning up to something????

  6. Concerned Parent Says:

    Let’s give kudos to the school as they deserved it. However, we need to direct Gov. Crist to our issues and concerns over the “new” educational model PBC has implemented this year. This school worked towards this improvement over the past four years before Mr. Hernandez was even hired!

  7. Edward Says:

    Get a life – do your job and quit campaining – currently you score an “F” – would be nice if you were an effective Govenor beforew you tried to be a Senator

  8. bologna Says:

    Bottom line: School grades from the state are worthless. It is too bad our Governor plays along with the farce. We have enough problems in PB County. (Oh, maybe that’s why he visited!)

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