Florida schools roundup: Tony Bennett, charter schools, teacher raises & more

Tony Bennett: A new report finds the school grading formula changes that former Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett made in Indiana in 2012 were “plausible” and “consistently applied” to all schools. StateImpact Florida. More from Tampa Bay Times. More from the Associated Press. The report showcases the problems with implementing a radically new school-rating system. Education Week. “We finally have a resolution,” writes Rick Hess for Education Week. “The headline: Bennett exonerated.” What if Tony Bennett was right and the Associated Press got it wrong? writes a guest columnist for Journal & Courier.

florida-roundup-logoSchool discipline: A Broward County student’s expulsion for bringing a taser to school to stay safe sparks discussion about the district’s discipline policy. Sun Sentinel.

Charter schools: Proponents of the nontraditional public schools in Palm Beach County say their growth may be easing crowding in district-run schools. Palm Beach Post. The Palm Beach County School Board votes this week on a charter school application from the City of West Palm Beach. Palm Beach Post. Central Florida school boards will consider nearly three dozen charter school applications in the coming weeks. Orlando Sentinel.

Teacher raises: St. Lucie and Martin county school teachers may see less of a pay raise than expected.  TC Palm. Brevard Public Schools and its teachers union will go before a special magistrate later this month to decide teacher salaries. Florida Today.

Tutoring: Changes at the state level have given the Lee County school district and others across Florida more control over tutoring services, also known as supplemental education services or SES. Fort Myers News-Press.

Superintendents: Hillsborough County Superintendent MaryEllen Elia receives high praise and highly critical marks in her annual eval. Tampa Bay Times.

TB exposure: A Palm Beach County middle school student may have exposed at least 18 classmates to tuberculosis last spring. Palm Beach Post.

Diplomas: Palm Beach County high school freshmen and those across Florida will be able to graduate with three different kinds of diplomas thanks to new laws. Palm Beach Post.

Standardized tests: Some parents and educators worry that Florida’s standardized tests are unfair to non-English speaking students. Orlando Sentinel. St. Lucie County seniors scored well below state and national averages on the ACT. TC Palm. St. Johns County schools superintendent calls for uniformity for testing eighth-graders in math. Florida Times-Union.

Anti-bullying: The Anti-Defamation League’s No Place For Hate anti-bullying campaign seems to be working in Miami-Dade County schools. Miami Herald.

School supplies: Some Duval County teachers are still without all the instructional materials needed to teach their students. Florida Times-Union. An anonymous NASA employee spends $1,005 of his own money to purchase leftover loot at a government auction then donates it all to Brevard County schools. Florida Today. 

Lunchroom: Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam and State Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, help serve some Hillsborough County elementary students food that emulated the first Thanksgiving meal to highlight new nutrition standards. 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.