Florida schools roundup: School grades, Common Core, PARCC & more

Ed summit: A three-day education summit called by Gov. Rick Scott ends with broad guidelines on student testing, school grading and evaluating teachers — but uncertainty about where they will lead. Palm Beach Post. Participants make plenty of promises, but don’t offer solutions. Associated Press. The summit did little to quell unrest over Common Core or address other recent controversies, but at least it brought parent groups, teachers, school administrators and legislative leaders together. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. And there’s a call to change the school grading system. Tampa Bay Times.

florida-roundup-logoCommon Core: Mary Jane Tappen, deputy chancellor for curriculum and instruction with the Florida Department of Education, will talk with Osceola parents about the new Common Core standards. Orlando Sentinel.

PARCC: Florida’s continued participation in PARCC is in doubt due to the concern that school districts don’t have the computers and Internet bandwidth necessary to administer the online tests and that PARCC exams take twice as long as the FCATs they replace. StateImpact Florida.

Drug testing: The Miami-Dade County School Board will consider a random drug-testing policy following the federal probe into whether Biogenesis of America gave performance-enhancing drugs to student athletes. Miami Herald.

Rosh Hashanah: A St. Lucie County sophomore and his parents are upset that the school district won’t allow students to take the day off for the Jewish holiday like some other districts. Instead, he has a test. TC Palm.

Class therapy: A therapy dog helps autistic students in Lake Wales focus in the classroom. The Ledger.

Reading buddy: Ann Scott, the governor’s wife, visits a Port St. John elementary school  to read to kindergarteners. Florida Today.

Afterschool: Many Collier County parents are still upset about the district’s changes to afterschool activities. Naples Daily News.

Cell towers: The Collier County School Board hosts a meeting about a cell phone tower on an elementary school campus, but some parents complain they weren’t notified. Naples Daily News.

Principal swap: Two Hillsborough County principals switch schools but remain in charge. The Tampa Tribune.

Financial reports: The Cato Institute gives Florida a D for the way it presents education financial data to the public. Tampa Bay Times.

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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.