Education

Mayor Brown and Dr. Annmarie Kent-Willette visiting with students at Terry Parker High School on Sept. 3, 2013Alvin Brown is the City of Jacksonville’s first “Education Mayor.” He appointed the City’s first Education Commissioner, Dr. Donnie Horner, on July 8, 2011, effectively beginning an unprecedented, active and hands-on approach to improve the quality of education in Jacksonville. On Sept. 3, 2013, the mayor appointed Dr. Annmarie Kent-Willette to suceed Dr. Horner as Jacksonville's second education commissioner.

Dr. Kent-Willette serves on-loan at the cost of a ceremonial $1 from Jacksonville University (JU) for two years based on an agreement forged by Mayor Brown and JU President Tim Cost.
 

The Education Commissioner reports directly to Mayor Brown and acts as his senior policy advisor for all matters pertaining to education. The Education Commissioner is a cabinet-level officer tasked to carry out the mayor’s educational vision and initiatives, and for partnering with community members and organizations.
 

The Office of the Education Commissioner includes a program manager, Mr. Cedric Cruse, generously funded by Florida Blue. The Office of the Education Commissioner operates at no cost to the taxpayers of Duval County.

Under the Mayor’s guidance, the mission of the Education Commissioner is to:


Mayor Brown reading to a class
ADVOCATE for education at every opportunity and across boundaries. The focus is on K-12 public education in Duval County schools, but home-schooled and students in private schools are included in the Commissioner’s broad mandate to positively impact education “from cradle to grave.” Conceptually, this inclusive approach to and interest in education begins at birth, and proceeds from pre-K / early learning years all the way through professional retirement. The Mayor's vision is to make Jacksonville a lifelong learning community, one which attracts and retains businesses to provide well paying jobs.
 
ENGAGE every aspect of the community – private, public, non-profit, for-profit, foundations, philanthropies, individuals, organizations – to improve the quality and accessibility of educational programs for Jacksonville residents.
 
PARTNER with parents, teachers, students, schools, providers, community and private sector organizations to develop, plan, and execute programs and initiatives which add value to the educational lives of residents.
 
ACT on behalf of citizenry to LEAD, CHAMPION, CONVENE, and COLLABORATE on issues of educational import in concert with community activists.

Education Updates

Stay up to date with the latest from the Education Office with Education Updates.

Initiatives

Dr. Donnie Horner with a local studentJacksonville Goes to College Week

Weeklong activities highlight the benefits of a college education

Mayor Alvin Brown and Duval County Public Schools have partnered to bring forth several activities in conjunction with “Jacksonville Goes to College Week.” Students throughout the city will participate in various activities highlighting the college entrance process and benefits of a college education during programs scheduled Friday, Oct. 5 through Saturday, Oct. 13. Read more

Learn2EarnMayor Brown's Learn2Earn

Learn2Earn is a summer program designed for high school students who are on summer break awaiting their sophomore or junior years. Learn2Earn targets low-to-moderate income students with caregivers that have not attended college. Students entering senior year may be granted an exception to enroll. Learn2Earn is open to all students in public and private schools as well as home-schooled students. There is no cost to students, and the student to mentor ratio is 10 to 1.

Mayor Brown's Learn2Earn Program Immerses Students in College Experience, July 2, 2012
 Dr. Donnie Horner and Mayor Alvin Brown with award winners from the first class of Mayor Brown's Learn2EarnMayor Alvin Brown with a student from Learn2EarnMayor Brown speaking to students at Learn2Earn
 
Indo-US Chamber of Commerce of Northeast FloridaMayor Brown's College Student Aid Workshops - The City of Jacksonville and the Indo-U.S. Chamber of Commerce of Northeast Florida partnered to help aspiring college students get financial aid. There were four workshops at locations throughout Jacksonville starting May 4, 2013. Trained volunteers from the Indo-U.S. chamber helped students complete and file FAFSA applications, a necessary step in the college entrance process. To measure the success of the program, the city will tracked the number of students by zip code, Federal Pell Grant Program money and expected family contribution.


MoneyWi$e WeekMoneyWi$e Week: Celebrating Financial Education - May 2013 - www.MoneyWiseJax.org - MoneyWi$e Week was created to offer programs, classes and activities to educate consumers of all ages and income levels about ways they can be more financially stable. These educational events are carried out by financial institutions, non-profit organizations, government agencies, schools libraries and community organizations. The week showcases these organizations’ educational resources, strengthens private-public partnerships, engages media and connects people with those who can help them learned.

In 2012, MoneyWi$e week saw 255 Volunteers, 14,026 Hours of Financial literacy education, 4,942 Class Participants, 65 Partners and 204 Classes. Read the full 2012 MoneyWi$e Week Report

In 2013, the second annual MoneyWi$e week we saw 22,218 hours of education, 5,651 participants and had 92 partners!

Mayor's MentorsMayor's Mentors - Mayor Alvin Brown’s Mayor’s Mentors program is a partnership among City Hall and nonprofit agencies which specialize in pairing new, highly qualified mentors with students in Duval County Public Schools. The plan grows from the mayor’s vision to enhance the quality of public education for the good of students as well as workforce development and employer recruitment in Jacksonville. Through the program, the mayor deployed dedicated volunteers – including retired school teachers – into mentorship programs with proven performance metrics to ensure the best quality for Jacksonville’s youths.

Mayor Brown helped raise funding for Duval County Public School's sports programsSports Program Funding at Duval County Public Schools - Mayor Brown joined Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals Wednesday to welcome $236,000 worth of gifts to preserve middle school football. An additional $200,000 in donations came through, collectively, for the high school cross-country, golf and tennis programs. Read more

Several Duval County Sports Programs Saved for the 2011-12 School Year - Examiner.com, Sept. 5, 2011

Private money helps keep sports programs alive - Florida Times Union, Aug. 31, 2011

Mayor Brown with JROTC cadetsMayor Maneuvers Private Funds to Save JROTC - Jacksonville’s business and community leaders have teamed up with Mayor Alvin Brown to raise the money needed to keep Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) programs running in Duval County public high schools.

The effort raised more than $200,000, an amount that the mayor said shows the strength of public-private partnerships and the will of area leaders to preserve programs that benefit education and youth development. Read more

Education Commissioner Dr. DOnnie Horner and Mayor Alvin BrownExecutive Order: Mayor Brown Creates Education Commissioner’s Office - Mayor Alvin Brown issued an executive order naming the first Education Commissioner for the City of Jacksonville.

The office is designed to serve as a bridge between City Hall and Duval County Public Schools with a mission to increase graduation rates and better prepare Jacksonville’s youths for the 21st Century job market. The office will have no executive powers over the school system but will serve a crucial supportive function to raise private money and rally community support at a time the schools are facing cutbacks. Read more  
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