Florida schools roundup: laptops, gifted students, accelerated classes & more

School technology. StateImpact Florida takes a look at the One Laptop Per Child program.

florida roundup logoAccelerated classes. In Pasco, enrollment is climbing fast in AP, IB and dual enrollment. Tampa Bay Times.

FCAT. Gains not as good as they sound, writes Shanker Blog. Three Pinellas elementary schools have among the worst math scores in the state, reports Gradebook.

Parent trigger. A distraction and faddish. Sherman Dorn.

Superintendents. The new Lee super is Naples High Principal Nancy Graham, but it’s not clear whether she’s temporary, reports the Naples Daily News. Tony Bennett’s a fan of Pinellas’ Mike Grego, reports Gradebook.

Ed summit. Speaking of Grego, he’s among the speakers at the Florida Sterling Council’s annual summit. StateImpact Florida.

Gifted students. Pinellas is eliminating programs for gifted students at a few schools in lieu of offering gifted services at all elementary schools. Tampa Bay Times.

School spending. Broward gets no legislative funding help for its technology and building needs, reports the Miami Herald. More from the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Broward wants to charge a developer $3.6 million in impact fees for four students, the Sun Sentinel also reports.

Privatization. The Volusia school board votes 3-2 to outsource custodial services. Daytona Beach News Journal.

Teacher layoffs. Manatee parents ask the district to reconsider the proposed elimination of 182 teaching positions. Bradenton Herald.

Media specialists. They’re down 15 percent from a decade ago. Sarasota Herald Tribune.

School safety. In Okaloosa, big kids offer anti-bullying lessons to little kids, reports Northwest Florida Daily News. In Bay, the school board buys surveillance devices for school buses, reports the Panama City News Herald.

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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.