Florida schools roundup: teacher evals, digital education, dual enrollment & more

Virtual schools. The Tampa Tribune writes up legislative changes to digital education.

florida roundup logoCharter schools. Several new charters in Jacksonville are moving into old buildings. Florida Times Union. Charter school enrollment in Pinellas is projected to climb 28 percent this fall. Tampa Bay Times (reprise of an earlier Gradebook blog post).

Magnet schools. Applications are still being taken for all of Hillsborough’s magnet programs except IB. Gradebook.

Career academies. Summer means internships for many of those enrolled in Brevard’s business academies. Florida Today.

Low-performing schools. Five of Pinellas’ toughest schools hope to begin getting traction this summer. Tampa Tribune. A former student at struggling Lacoochee Elementary in Pasco is now the principal. Tampa Bay Times.

Dual enrollment. Another story on the financial hit to districts from the Legislature’s decision to shift dual enrollment costs to them. TCPalm.com.

Teacher evaluations. Not a single teacher in the Palm Beach County School District is rated below effective. South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Teachers. A band teacher’s departure from Lake County for a higher-paying gig at a charter in Connecticut is a sign teachers will “seek communities where teachers are respected and education is a priority, and that description doesn’t fit either Lake County or Florida.” Lauren Ritchie.

Common Core. Q & A with a principal who digs it. StateImpact Florida. An elementary in Auburndale wins a grant to purchase materials to better implement Common Core. Lakeland Ledger.

Superintendents. The Tampa Bay Times credits Pinellas’ Mike Grego for a bold move with the “summer bridge” program. Brevard’s Brian Binggeli invites local executives to take a closer look at district operations and make recommendations. Florida Today.

Educator conduct. A Sarasota County principal who hypnotized students voluntarily gives up his teaching license. The same story notes a Manatee teacher who was intoxicated in class faces a two-year suspension even though an administrative hearing judge decided there was not enough evidence to prove she was impaired. Sarasota Herald Tribune.

School transportation. Q & A with the new head of Broward’s troubled transportation department. South Florida Sun Sentinel.

School safety. Citizen patrols will supplement school security in Lake. Orlando Sentinel.

School spending. Lee says it doesn’t have enough to meet future building and renovation needs. Fort Myers News Press.

Hispanic students. A grant from the Ford Motor Co. Fund aims to help more Hispanic students at Tenoroc High in Polk graduate on time. Lakeland Ledger.

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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.