Florida schools roundup: FCAT scores, STEM teachers, super nerds & more

FCAT. FCAT writing scores up. FCAT reading and math scores flat. Miami Herald. South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Palm Beach Post. Orlando Sentinel. Florida Times UnionStateImpact Florida. Gainesville Sun. Ocala Star Banner. Associated Press. Naples Daily News. Bradenton Herald. Sarasota Herald Tribune. Pensacola News Journal. Tallahassee Democrat. Panama City News HeraldStateImpact has more from Education Commissioner Tony Bennett.

florida roundup logoFCAT success. How a Tampa elementary magnet school got traction. Gradebook.

FCAT retakes. Daytona Beach News Journal.

Vals and sals. Backlash is growing to Hernando’s decision to ban vals and sals. Gradebook.

Nerds. Spelling bee champ Nupur Lala of Tampa helped make nerdy cool. Associated Press.

Turnaround schools. Hillsborough is proactive about trying to spark them. Tampa Bay Times.

Teacher training. The Hechinger Report uses Florida to base a story about reformers’ aims with teacher training and recruitment.

STEM. USF and the Helios Foundation team up on a program to produce STEM teachers for middle schools, reports the Tampa Bay Times. At a Brooksville high school, “math jams” help, the Times also reports.

ELL. Students who speak English as a second language continue to struggle mightily in Orange County and across Florida. Orlando Sentinel.

School boards. One Lee board member accuses others of violating Sunshine laws in relation to the superintendent’s search. Fort Myers News Press.

School spending. A Manatee middle school asks parents for financial donations to stay afloat for the rest of the year, reports the Bradenton Herald. The Clay County school district is looking at a $7.5 million deficit because of an enrollment dip, reports the Florida Times Union. Leasing school district property for cell phone towers may ease Volusia’s financial crunch, reports the Daytona Beach News Journal.

School districts. Walton and Okaloosa earn state designation as high performing districts. Northwest Florida Daily News.

School enrollment. Manatee’s is declining despite population growth in the county. Bradenton Herald.

Superintendents. New Pinellas Super Mike Grego is shaking up district administration and shuffling principals. Tampa Bay Times.

IB. A Riviera Beach middle school is officially certified for its IB program. Extra Credit.

Outsourcing. Volusia custodians fear loss of “personal touch” in district decision to outsource. Daytona Beach News Journal.

Summer slideOcala Star Banner.

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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.