Florida roundup: parent trigger, school turnarounds, diploma tracks & more

Parent trigger. Who are Sunshine Parents, a group tied to parent trigger? Tampa Bay Times. More on AnswerSheet. More questions about who signed or didn’t sign a petition in support of parent trigger, reports The Buzz.

florida roundup logoTurnaround schools. A number of schools in Pinellas and Hillsborough face prescriptive state intervention plans because they continue to struggle, reports Tampa Bay Times. Finding the right applicants to re-staff Lacoochee Elementary, a similar school in Pasco may be tough, the Times also reports. But don’t give up on it, writes a volunteer in a Times op-ed. More from the Tampa Tribune.

Charter schools. Lawmakers agree to give charters $91 million for construction and maintenance, reports the Tampa Bay Times. The Lakeland Ledger writes up the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools report on the research showing academic gains for charter students. An appeals court sides with the Seminole school district in its decision to deny a charter school application, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

Career academies. An aerospace academy at Boynton Beach High School has big plans. Palm Beach Post.

Vouchers. Bad. Gainesville Sun.

Teacher pay. The House and Senate reach a compromise that Andy Ford applauds. The Buzz. More from Associated Press and Tallahassee Democrat.

Teacher evals. Tony Bennett says education leaders are listening to concerns and working to address many of them. StateImpact Florida.

Diploma tracks. Lawmakers did good in offering alternatives, editorializes South Florida Sun Sentinel. The Tampa Bay Times agrees. But Hernando Superintendent Bryan Blavatt worries that it will return Florida to a time when haves and have-nots were put on different academic tracks, reports the Tampa Bay Times. And Times columnist Dan Ruth pretty much agrees, saying the move is a “sentence to a lifetime of woulda, coulda, shoulda.” The Orlando Sentinel does a Q&A on the basics.

Paddling. In Marion County, “stupidity on parade,” writes Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino.

School spending. A transition team in Manatee recommends cutting 180 staff positions. Bradenton Herald.

School discipline. The NAACP says the suspension rate for black students in Brevard is too high. Florida Today.

School technology.  Hillsborough scrambles to install the technology needed for Common Core. Tampa Tribune.

Superintendents. The Palm Beach County School Board continues to be distracted by former Superintendent Art Johnson’s decision to head the local principals association, reports Extra Credit. State investigators interview Lee staffers and school board members about allegations that Superintendent Joseph Burke mismanaged funds, reports the Fort Myers News Press.

Teachers unions. Hernando votes out its president. Tampa Bay Times.

Special ed teachers. Many are changing lives. Tampa Bay Times columnist Bill Maxwell.

Common Core. Duval teachers will get training to get ready. Florida Times Union.

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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.