Florida roundup: School counselors, accreditation, Common Core & more

School counselors: Lee County schools’ tight budget has left the district with one school counselor to every 532 high students, one to 565 middle school students and one to 923 elementary students. The recommended ratio is 1-250 at every school level. News-Press.

florida roundup logoIvy league: This senior and farmerworker’s son might be the first kid from rural LaBelle to go to an Ivy League college. News-Press.

High marks: Duval County schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti gives himself high marks on a self-evaluation after seven months on the job. Florida Times-Union.

New Super: Polk County’s new schools Superintendent Kathryn LeRoy lays out her plan to improve academic achievement and address the budget deficit. Ledger.

Imagine: Recently-shuttered Imagine Charter School in St. Petersburg performed better on the FCAT this year than many other neighborhood schools, though scores remain extremely low. Tampa Bay Times.

Fired: Scott Kimbrough, a Seminole County teacher accused of having sex with two female students, has been fired. Orlando Sentinel.

Suspended: A first-grade teacher in Hernando County was suspended after an investigation into allegations that she yelled at a student, made disparaging remarks about him and hit him in the chest with a backpack. Tampa Bay Times.

Accreditation: Miami-Dade public schools is looking for districtwide accreditation from AdvancedED. Miami Herald.

Common Core: Education Commissioner Tony Bennett on the new national education standards: “I do believe that Common Core will be the hinge point where we get our focus back, especially in problem solving and critical analysis at the lower levels.” StateImpact Florida.

Layoffs: Marion County school board members ask the public for patience as they try to rework a plan to layoff 261 teachers. Ocala Star-Banner.

Turnaround plans: Two Manatee County elementary schools are among the 58 with turnaround plans being reviewed by the state Board of Education next week. Bradenton Herald.

In theory: An editorial says Manatee County’s schools Superintendent Rick Mills’ “theory of action” to make drastic improvements looks like a strong approach to lift the district up. Bradenton Herald.

Facebook: Monroe County public schools’ former chief operating officer has requested public records concerning a school board member’s district-centered Facebook page, including who “liked” it. Keynoter.

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BY Sherri Ackerman

Sherri Ackerman is the former associate editor of redefinED. She is a former correspondent for the Tampa Bay Times and reporter for The Tampa Tribune, writing about everything from cops and courts to social services and education. She grew up in Indiana and moved to Tampa as a teenager, graduating from Brandon High School and, later, from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications/news editing. Sherri passed away in March 2016.