Florida roundup: teacher eval lawsuit, Michelle Rhee, budget requests & more

Teacher evaluations. The NEA and FEA file a federal suit against the new teacher evaluations system in Florida. Coverage from the Orlando Sentinel, Associated Press, Times/HeraldTallahassee Democrat, Gainesville Sun, Pensacola News JournalGradebook, Education Week, PolitiJax, State Impact Florida, New York TimesAnswer Sheet. FEA statement here. Lawmakers need to fix glaring flaws, editorializes the Lakeland Ledger. The Miami-Dade system plows ahead with its own remedies, reports the Miami Herald. School districts around the state are cooperating more to create the hundreds of new tests needed for the teacher evaluations, reports the Tallahassee Democrat.

florida roundup logoTony Bennett. Indiana folks make up his inner circle at DOE. Gradebook.

Michelle Rhee. Michelle Rhee was in Tallahassee Monday, meeting with lawmakers. Naked Politics.

School choice. With rezoning issues out of the way, Bay County cranks up its district school choice process. WJHG.com.

Career education. A big hit in Okaloosa. Northwest Florida Daily News.

School spending. The state Board of Education is not happy after the Department of Education says it overestimated the budget request for new technology by $342 million, reports StateImpact Florida. The Pasco school board decides, for now, not to follow Superintendent Kurt Browning’s proposal to cut media specialists and reading coaches, reports the Tampa Bay Times. The Sarasota board follows through on plans to cut media specialists, reports the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

School boards. Conservative activist Terry Kemple is making another run for Hillsborough school board. Tampa Bay Times.

School discipline. The Broward school district is looking for ways to reduce the number of campus arrests. Miami Herald. More from the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

School security. The teachers-with-guns bill clears the House Judiciary Committee, reports the Lakeland Ledger. The Lee County school district is aiming to double the number of law enforcement officers in elementary schools next year, reports the Naples Daily News.

Time on task. New Pinellas Superintendent Mike Grego is finding ways to lengthen the school day and school year for struggling students, reports the Tampa Bay Times. The Times editorial board likes where Grego is headed.

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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.