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Florida schools roundup: school grades, parent power, Jeb Bush & more

Charter schools. Pasco’s Dayspring Academy, where state Sen. John Legg is an administrator, puts off expansion plans for a year. Gradebook. An F-rated charter in Flagler shows improvement. Daytona Beach News Journal.

florida roundup logoMagnet schools. The Palm Beach County district considers two arts magnets for the south end of the district. Palm Beach Post.

Testing. Whatever replaces the FCAT as Florida moves to Common Core standards must allow us to compare Florida to the highest performing states, writes Jeb Bush in an op-ed for the Tampa Bay Times.

Grading. Orange high schools are moving to a grading system where 50 is the floor, not zero. Orlando Sentinel.

Common Core. Thousands of South Florida teachers and principals prepare for the all-grades rollout this fall. Palm Beach Post. “Some” Central Florida parents don’t like it. Orlando Sentinel.

Parental involvement. A prestigious Palm Beach County magnet is one of 10 schools statewide to be recognized by the Florida Department of Education. Extra Credit.

Parent power. The Tampa Bay Times writes up the new state law that gives parents of disabled students more say over their kids’ IEPs. So does the Fort Myers News Press.

School grades. A Jeb Bush-Rick Scott split? Tampa Bay Times. So much for accountability in education. Answer Sheet. The system is a disaster, writes Fund Education Now co-founder Kathleen Oropeza in an op-ed for the Tampa Bay Times. The Daytona Beach News Journal writes up the recent BOE decision on the safety net.

School security. In the wake of Newtown, school resource officers from around the country come to a weeklong conference in Orlando, where some get training in “active shooter response.” Tampa Bay Times. Palm Beach County elementary schools will have 24 more officers this fall. South Florida Sun Sentinel. Broward hopes to have about a dozen more, the Sun Sentinel also reports. The Okaloosa district will consider whether to keep school resource officers in all schools. Northwest Florida Daily News.

Educator conduct. Criminal charges are filed against a Manatee football coach for reportedly inappropriate behavior with a female student. Bradenton Herald. More from the Sarasota Herald Tribune. It’s newsworthy when students are the alleged victims of school employees, writes Herald Tribune columnist Tom Lyons.

Teacher pay. Talks about to get under way in the Palm Beach district. Extra Credit.

Fundraising. Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown falls far short of fundraising goals for a program that aims to give low-income students a glimpse of life at college. Florida Times Union.

Math. UF’s Algebra Nation math app is being used by schools across the state. Gainesville Sun.

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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 or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at