Florida schools roundup: Common Core, lunch programs, reading tests & more

School safety: Across Florida and the nation, schools open with more armed security following the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. Associated Press.

florida-roundup-logoCommon Core: StateImpact Florida listens to what readers have to say about the new education standards. The Badass Teachers Association represents a new wave of liberal opposition to the standards with teachers joining forces with tea party groups and libertarians, who want states to slow down efforts to adopt the new benchmarks and corresponding tests. Times-Herald.

Lunch line: Every elementary student in Lake Wales gets a free lunch thanks to a new federal program. The Ledger. New federal lunch rules result in healthier meals for children, more costs for schools. Florida Today.

Summer Slide: Treasure Coast teachers assess students during the first days of school to see if they kept up with learning and reading during the summer. TC Palm.

Reading tests: Most Duval County public school students will take new reading tests this week to pinpoint deficiencies. Florida Times-Union.

Online requirement: Few high school juniors have completed the online course they need to graduate. Fort Myers News-Press.

Charter schools: Nine charter groups have applied to open schools in Sarasota and Manatee counties next fall. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Visible Men Academy finishes its first week in Manatee County with 74 kindergarten through second-grade students enrolled. Bradenton Herald.

Teacher conduct: A former West Palm Beach private school teacher accused of assaulting two students is arraigned on 59 new child pornography charges. Sun Sentinel.

Arts ed: The Center for Creative Education moves to a new home in the West Palm Beach arts district with hopes of reaching more students. Sun Sentinel.

Dad’s day: Polk County School District officials issue a challenge for the first day of school to encourage 1,500 men to accompany students that day – and more than double the dads did. The Ledger.

School buses: Palm Beach County deputies nab drivers passing stopped buses. Palm Beach Post. 

Urine tests: Columnist Frank Cerabino looks at forcing high school athletes to take urine tests for steroids. Palm Beach Post.

Class needs: The Miami Herald looks at Donors Choose and Adopt a Classroom, online charities that help teachers fulfill classroom needs through donations.

Private school: Stephanie (Penny) Townsend will head the Coconut Grove private preparatory school Ransom Everglades next year. Miami Herald.

School delivery: A Miramar Police officer and school health technician help deliver a baby at Fairway Elementary. Miami Herald.

Cell tower: Collier County parents and residents vow to fight construction of a cell phone tower planned at Poinciana Elementary. Naples Daily News.

Special needs: Parents ask the Collier County School Board to let their daughter attend the same school as her brother, who is blind and autistic. Naples Daily News. 

Diploma options: Escambia and Santa Rosa county students consider options for graduating high school. Pensacola News Journal.

School merger: Shady Hills Elementary and Crews Lake Middle combine to become Pasco County school district’s only K-8 school. The Tampa Tribune. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

School budgets: Manatee County’s tentative budget of $565 million is $10 million more than last year. Bradenton Herald.

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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.