Florida roundup: Teacher bashing, Newtown fallout, school grades & more

“Teacher bashing” and Newtown. Tampa Bay Times columnist Bill Maxwell sees a connection.

Advanced Placement. Is Florida’s approach worth it? asks the Miami Herald. (Here’s another stat worth considering: The number of passed AP tests in Florida has climbed from 87,852 to 136,265 – an increase of 55 percent – over the last five years alone.) 

school gradesHigh school grades rise. But with changes in the formula, comparisons to past years are dicey. Miami Herald. South Florida Sun Sentinel. Palm Beach Post. Orlando Sentinel. Florida Times Union. Lakeland Ledger. Fort Myers News Press. Naples Daily News. Florida Today. Pensacola News Journal. Gainesville Sun. Tampa Bay Times. State Impact Florida.

“Special education crisis.” That’s the term Tampa Bay Times columnist Sue Carlton uses to describe what’s happening in the Hillsborough school district.

More school security. State Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, wants more school resource officers in the wake of Newtown, reports the Tampa Bay Times. Similar talk in South Florida, reports the Sun Sentinel, and on the Space Coast, reports Florida Today. Absenteeism spikes Friday, the Times also reports. The Palm Beach Post takes a look at charter schools’ response to the tragedy. Don’t turn schools into forts, writes Orlando Sentinel columnist Beth Kassab.

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at rmatus@stepupforstudents.org or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at facebook.com/redefinedonline.

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