Florida schools roundup: Charter schools, career academies, dual enrollment & more

Bang for the buck. Florida’s education system gets a lot of it. Florida Watchdog.

florida roundup logoCharter schools. Broward sees its eighth charter school close this year, raising questions about accountability, reports the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The Imagine charter schools network will close its struggling elementary school in Pinellas, but keep its middle school open, reports Gradebook. The C-rated Athenian Academy charter school in Pasco is suing the school district for barring its plans to grow enrollment, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Career education. A Pasco student in Wiregrass Ranch High’s information technology career academy highlights the potential of choice and career education. Tampa Bay Times. The Tampa Tribune writes up the changes in graduation requirements that put more value on career education.

Dual enrollment. The Palm Beach County school district and Palm Beach State College are hoping to hash out an agreement over dual enrollment costs in the wake of a legislative change. Palm Beach Post.

FCAT. More results coming this week. Gradebook.

Reading. Pinellas is looking for new ways to get traction with static reading scores. Tampa Tribune.

Summer slide. Tallahassee Democrat.

Remediation. State colleges are restructuring their programs, in response to a legislative directive, so more students can get on track quicker. Orlando Sentinel.

Jeb Bush. “Nothing but disdain” for public education, says the alternate-reality Answer Sheet.

Superintendents. New Lee Superintendent Nancy Graham brings a reputation as a good communicator, reports the Fort Myers News Press. Retiring St. Lucie Superintendent Michael Lannon did more than raise test scores, reports TCPalm.com.

Pep rally. 7,000 people turn out to celebrate public education in Duval. Florida Times Union.

School spending. The Daytona Beach News Journal takes a look at administrative costs in Volusia and Flagler. Flagler voters are set to vote on a proposed property tax hike that  would raise about $3.2 million annually for school operating expenses, the News Journal also reports. Marion lays off 261 employees to help fill a $29 million budget deficit, reports the Ocala Star Banner.

School suspensions. Down significantly in Palm Beach County. Palm Beach Post.

School closings. A judge denies a request for an injunction to halt the closing of three Brevard schools. Florida Today.

School boards. The state attorney’s office is investigating allegations involving the Lee County School Board, including potential Sunshine Law violations. Fort Myers News Press.

Gifted. On balance, Pinellas’ plan to put gifted teachers in every elementary school is a good one. Tampa Bay Times.

Bullying. A new law signed by Gov. Rick Scott gives districts valuable tools in combating cyber bullying. Tampa Bay Times.

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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.

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