Florida roundup: Teach for America, charter schools, FCAT season & more

Teach for America. It’s looking at Tampa Bay for expansion. Gradebook.

FL roundup logo snippedCharter schools. The Orange school board renews four charters and accepts the voluntary closure of another, reports SchoolZone. A charter school’s plans to move in Miami-Dade don’t make its parents or potential new neighbors happy, reports the Miami Herald. A judge rules the principal of an Imagine charter in Sarasota – seeking a split with its parent company – won’t be banned from campus, reports the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

FCAT season. Underway, notes SchoolZone. But some schools in some districts put off the writing test because of bad weather, reports Gradebook. Some worry that tougher writing standards could result in lower school grades, reports the Naples Daily News.

Literacy. A third-grade retention policy like Florida’s would help students in New Mexico. EdFly Blog.

Settlement. The U.S. Justice Department settles with the Palm Beach school district in a case involving complaints of discrimination against immigrant children in enrollment and discipline cases, reports the South Florida Sun Sentinel. More from the Palm Beach Post.

Sequestration. Would hurt low-income and special needs children the most, Palm Beach district officials tell the Palm Beach Post. More from the Florida Times Union.

School security. Hillsborough high school students tell school board members they wanted it beefed up, reports the Tampa Bay Times. More from the Tampa Tribune.

School closures. The Dade City community in Pasco is upset about the possibility of a historic school’s closure. Tampa Bay Times.

School zoning. The Seminole school board votes to rezone as many as 1,700 elementary school students next fall. Orlando Sentinel.

School spending. Volusia talks furloughs, reports the Daytona Beach News Journal. Brevard considers cutting employees in DROP, reports Florida Today.

More school recognition money. Gainesville Sun. Northwest Florida Daily News.

Arts and music. Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti reiterates a promise to put renewed emphasis on it. Florida Times Union.

Teacher conduct. A Largo High teacher is suspended without pay after allegedly drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana with students, reports the Tampa Bay Times. More from the Tampa Tribune.

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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.