Florida schools roundup: Gov. Scott, virtual ed, teacher raises & more

Gov. Scott: The Florida governor isn’t the education cheerleader he portrays himself to be, editorializes the Tampa Bay Times.

florida-roundup-logoVirtual ed: Online schools and programs brace for a major enrollment boom now that the state wants every high schooler to take an online class to graduate. Sun Sentinel.

Common Core: This is supposed to be the final year of FCATs, but now Florida’s public schools are in limbo. TC Palm. Florida reacts to mounting opposition. The Tampa Tribune. Foundation For Excellence In Education’s Patricia Levesque explains why we can’t transform American public education with silver-bullet thinking. Dropout Nation. “The standards, fewer in number, exchange quantity for quality, which means I’ll have more time to delve into each standard with my students,” writes Polk County elementary literacy teacher Beth Smith for The Ledger.

Teacher raises: Educators have long since abandoned the simple notion of an across-the-board $2,500 pay bump Scott once promoted in news conferences across the state. Tampa Bay Times. Pinellas County could raise teachers’ starting salaries to $40,000. Tampa Bay Times.

Grad rates: PolitiFact Florida takes aim at interim Education Commissioner Pam Stewart’s boasts about the state’s graduation improvements. Tampa Bay Times.

Parent tack: The Hillsborough County school district hosts a Saturday workshop for parents to learn more about the school system. Tampa Bay Times. Duval County schools introduces Parent Academy to get mom and dad more involved. Florida Times-Union. “We need parents to trust teachers and believe we’re playing on the same team to enhance student behavior and improve achievement,” writes Terri Friedlander for Florida Today.

Enrollment: Manatee County public schools have 1,000 more students than expected. Bradenton Herald.

Charter schools: Hernando County’s two new charter schools gear up for their first school year. Tampa Bay Times. Hillsborough County school officials eye charter schools and their system of fees and donations. Tampa Bay Times. The Manatee County School Board prepares to vote on three charter school applications. Bradenton Herald.

Private schools: Sarasota County sees the opening of a new high school for students with disabilities. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

More choice: Pinellas County’s East Lake High offers students new academic programs in cyber security, accounting, biomedicine and performing arts. Tampa Bay Times.

Conduct: A Pasco County elementary school clinic assistant is arrested and accused of stealing a student’s medication. Tampa Bay Times. A woman warning students of a West Palm Beach high school that “Jesus is coming soon” is arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, simple assault on a law-enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence. Sun Sentinel.

Hair policy: A 16-year-old Lake County high school student is allowed back in class despite the district’s policy against unnatural hair color. Orlando Sentinel.

Site fight: It’s neighbor against neighbor over the location of Orange County’s next high school. Orlando Sentinel.

Class size: Polk County’s Lake Wales High School hires seven teachers to meet increased enrollment and the state’s class size mandate. The Ledger.

Grade book: Hillsborough County will debut Edsby, an online system that allows parents to check on their children’s tests and grades. Tampa Bay Times.

Avatar photo

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.