Florida roundup: Education Week rankings, charter school access & more

no 6Quality Counts. Florida ranks No. 6 this year in Education Week’s annual report. Coverage from redefinED, Associated Press, Miami Herald, Gradebook, Orlando Sentinel, StateImpact Florida, Fort Myers News Press, Naples Daily News, WCTV, News4Jax. More from Huffington Post.

Charter school access. SchoolZone takes a critical look at the first policy paper from the Center for School Options, a new think tank chaired by former Education Commissioner Jim Horne. It grades the 10 biggest districts in the state on charter school access. The Fort Myers News Press writes up Lee County’s top grade.

Charter school attendance. Palm Beach district officials suggest tighter controls are needed after a Mavericks charter school overstated its attendance and received $160,000 more in per-pupil funding. Palm Beach Post.

Career and technical. Tampa Bay school officials are headed to Germany to learn more about programs there. Tampa Bay Times.

Suspension and grad rates. A Johns Hopkins University study of Florida ninth graders finds much higher graduation rates for those who were never suspended as freshmen versus those who were suspended even once or twice.Education Week.

Rick Scott. Visits Fort Lauderdale High School. South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Superintendent searches. Interim education commissioner Pam Stewart applies for the superintendent’s opening in Manatee County, reports Gradebook. St. Lucie County gears up to replace retiring Superintendent Michael Lannon, reports TCPalm.com.

School security. Hillsborough is going too far, editorializes the Tampa Bay Times. So is a Lake County School Board member who wants to arm teachers and principals, writes Orlando Sentinel columnist Lauren Ritchie.

Rezoning angst in Seminole. Orlando Sentinel.

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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.