Florida roundup: Florida Virtual School, parent trigger, Common Core & more

Parent trigger. Rep. Joe Saunders, D-Orlando, writes in this Orlando Sentinel op-ed that parents should have the choice to keep their child with a teacher with a bad eval. In this Tampa Bay Times letter to the editor, Carlos Alfonso with the Foundation for Florida’s Future dispels parent trigger myths furthered by Times columnist John Romano.

florida roundup logoOnline learning. Both the House and Senate agree on a new way of calculating per-student spending that will result in an $8 million cut to virtual education, reports The Buzz. Study funding for virtual courses rather than cut it for Florida Virtual School, editorializes the Orlando Sentinel. St. Petersburg College creates a MOOC for remedial math, reports the Tampa Bay Times. Nine Hillsborough schools are experimenting with BYOD, the Times also reports. The Helios Foundation and SRI International are working to create a Center for Digital Learning in St. Petersburg, the Times also reports.

Charter schools. Parents fight the closing of the struggling Bradenton Charter School. Sarasota Herald Tribune.

Dual enrollment. Community college leaders say they may have to restrict the increasingly popular program if lawmakers don’t better fund it. Orlando Sentinel.

Common Core. The Glenn Beck-fueled notion that Common Core is a leftist plot shows “we have officially arrived at Crazytown.” Beth Kassab.

School spending. After convincing voters that the Seminole school district was in a financial bind, district leaders now aren’t sure whether they need to collect the extra tax money. Orlando Sentinel.

Career education. A new internship program in St. Johns County exposes high school students to careers in manufacturing, reports the St. Augustine Record. Students at a Pasco high school successfully lobby to save health education classes, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Gays and lesbians. The ACLU is helping two Polk teens who say they’ve been thwarted in efforts to create a Gay-Straight Alliance at Kathleen High School. Lakeland Ledger.

Teacher pay. The House and Senate agree to spend $480 million but unlike Gov. Rick Scott, want the raises tied to performance, reports the Associated Press. More from News Service of Florida and The Buzz.

Testing. The Sarasota Herald Tribune profiles FCAT testing coordinators.

Tutoring. The House and Senate appear to be at odds over what to do with a state mandated tutoring program that has drawn scrutiny for lack of oversight. Tampa Bay Times.

Time. Pinellas is making a strong effort to beef up instructional time with an intensive summer school. Tampa Bay Times.

Banned. Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti and others say a judge went too far when he banned a middle school student from public school. Florida Times Union.

Mental health. New Manatee Superintendent Rick Mills supports a plan to train teachers to help identify and get help to students struggling with mental illness, reports the Bradenton Herald. Mental health is being largely overlooked in the drive to beef up school security, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

GEDs. Adult education enrollment at Daytona State College drops following legislative changes to the GED program, reports the Daytona Beach News Journal. The Gainesville Sun writes up other changes on the way.

Avatar photo

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.