Florida roundup: parent power, Common Core, Rick Scott & more

Parent power. Florida gets high marks from the Center for Education Reform. Jacksonville Business Journal.

florida roundup logoCommon Core. Andy Ford’s take on Common Core. StateImpact Florida.

Teacher evaluations. Don’t shield the data from public scrutiny. Florida Times Union.

Rick Scott. Talks with superintendents about teacher pay, teacher evals, Common Core – and gets kind words from Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee. Coverage from The Buzz, News Service of Florida, Tallahassee Democrat.

School reform. Pinellas Superintendent Mike Grego is taking a more thoughtful approach to struggling schools than the state has, writes Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano.

Career education. It’s good the Legislature is expanding opportunities here, writes Tampa Tribune columnist Joe Henderson.

School closings. The Port Canaveral Authority decides against donating money to the Brevard school district to keep three schools from closing. Florida Today.

School spending. The Lee County School Board is split over whether to spend a half-million dollars for the training of 400 employees in Orlando, reports the Fort Myers News Press. The Manatee school district is planning to dip into individual school accounts in an effort to replenish reserves, reports the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

Charter schools. The Francis Marion Military Academy, a charter school in Marion, is on the move to new digs, reports the Ocala Star Banner. A charter school proposed for an elderly section of Hollywood gets an initial okay, reports the Miami Herald. A new collegiate charter high school is opening in Walton County, reports the Northwest Florida Daily News.

Private schools. The expansion plans for a private school in a historic part of Tampa are raising questions. Tampa Bay Times.

Gays and lesbians. A proposed legislative tweak could keep a Gay-Straight Alliance from forming at a Lake County middle school. Orlando Sentinel.

Superintendents. Former Palm Beach County Superintendent Art Johnson (whose district made some of the biggest gains in the state during his tenure) is drawing scrutiny from school board members because of his new job heading the district administrators association, reports the South Florida Sun Sentinel. More from the Palm Beach Post. Auditors say the contract for Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie offers too much severance pay, the Sun Sentinel also reports.

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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.