Hillsborough County Public Schools RISE Above Other School Districts with National Award
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tanya Arja
Office of Communications
Tampa, Fla. – (April 9, 2018) – School Board members with Hillsborough County Public Schools have been honored as the only school board in the country to receive the RISE Award, for their commitment to ensuring an equitable education for all children.
Superintendent Jeff Eakins and School Board members were on hand to accept the award this past weekend from the National Black Council (NBC) of the National School Board Association. RISE, the Recognizing Innovative Strategies in Equity Award honors one school board in the nation for excellence in establishing and executing policies and procedures that promote enhanced equitable conditions, increased access to quality instruction and improved academic outcomes and career readiness for African American students.
This award highlights the School Board’s commitment to ensure we prepare ALL students for life.
In the three years since Superintendent Eakins took the helm of Hillsborough County Public Schools there has been a laser-focused effort on student success. The district’s graduation rate jumped to 82.9%, an all-time record for the district and higher than the state graduation rate. The district’s rate is a 3.8 percentage point increase over last year which highlights the tremendous work by students, teachers and staff in Hillsborough County Public Schools.
The district has also been steadily closing the achievement gap, with a graduation rate increase in all key areas over last year, including African American students (up 4.9% percentage points over last year), Hispanic students (up 4.9%), Exceptional Education students (up 6.1%) and English Language Learners (up 8.8%).
The School Board created a new Racial Equity Policy to confront issues head on and work to create opportunities for all students. In a reorganization, Superintendent Eakins added the position of Chief Diversity Officer to ensure students are offered equal and equitable educational access and activities. In addition, the Human Resources Division started initiatives aimed at increasing educator diversity, as well as ensuring that the most effective teachers are in front of the district’s neediest students.
Hillsborough County Public Schools is honored to be recognized by the NBC and remains committed to continuing our efforts to provide the best education for all students and promote postsecondary pursuits for underrepresented students.
Photo: School Board Vice Chair Tamara Shamburger, School Board Chair Sally Harris and School Board Member Susan Valdes accept the RISE award.