Florida schools roundup: Ed reform, Common Core, budget surplus & more

School reform: Rick Hess looks at Florida’s Senate Bill 736 and overhauling teacher evaluations and concludes that after all of the effort and political capital expended to enact the program, it didn’t make much difference.

florida-roundup-logoCommon Core: State Rep. Karen Castor Dentel weighs in on the controversy, calling for Florida to hit the pause button on testing while transitioning to the new benchmarks. The Buzz. South Florida’s business community is split on the issue of new standards. Sun Sentinel. Hernando County Superintendent Lori Romano reaffirms her district’s support for a quality education in the wake of Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to withdraw from PARCC. Tampa Bay Times.

College/Career prep: The Palm Beach County School District partners with Palm Beach State College to create a website that helps students with planning. Sun Sentinel.

School choice: Miami-Dade and Broward school boards win $7.5 million in the first year of a three-year program to expand school choice options in science, technology and engineering. Miami Herald.

Conduct: The Pasco County School District determines a principal tripped when he ran into a student during a school fight. The Tampa Tribune. Tampa Bay Times columnist Sue Carlton gives squabbling Hillsborough school officials an assignment:  Please, quit your bickering; deal with personalities you do not like; and find a way to make it work.

Punishment: Students at some Pasco County schools who have shown up in too-short shorts or sleeveless shirts have found themselves forced to wear neon “Out of Dress Code” T-shirts. Tampa Bay Times.

Reaching out: A Pasco County elementary school reaches out to needy students and their families with a program that helps provide food and clothing. Tampa Bay Times.

Late bell: House Bill 67 requires all public high schools to start no earlier than 8 a.m. Northwest Florida Daily News.

Budget surplus: An estimated $840 million budget surplus has Gov. Rick Scott talking about handing out tax breaks, but Rep. Karen Castor Dentel says any surplus should go to fund education. Florida Current.


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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.