Florida schools roundup: State grades, Common Core, mentors & more

Grade appeal: Two West Palm Beach County schools are among 12 in the state appealing their overall grades to the Florida Department of Education. Sun Sentinel.

florida-roundup-logoCharter schools: Pinellas County’s newest charter school, University Preparatory Academy, draws complaints concerning students with behavioral problems. Tampa Bay Times.

Common Core: Will new Common Core standards mean less teaching to the test? StateImpact Florida.

Special needs: A Palm Beach high school culinary club partners with Autism Speaks to develop a cooking program that helps kids with autism make friends. Sun Sentinel.

Enrollment: Palm Beach County schools lose more than 1,000 students in official district count while charter school enrollment booms. Palm Beach Post.

Drop in: Orange County educators will visit former students who have dropped out of school to persuade them to return. Orlando Sentinel.

Mentors: What the Polk County School District needs now is more mentors, says the district’s Superintendent Kathryn LeRoy. The Ledger.

The arts: “Orange County has reached a milestone,” writes columnist Scott Maxwell. “We have at least one art or music teacher in every school. That is both impressive … and sad.” Orlando Sentinel.

Name change: A social media campaign gains steam toward changing the name of a Jacksonville high school named after the first grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan. Florida Times-Union.

School budgets: Brevard Public Schools ends the year with a $5.6 million surplus. Florida Today.

Grants: The Education Foundation of Sarasota County awards more than $73,500 in grants to 51 Sarasota County teachers. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Eligibility flap: A Hillsborough County family skipped a step in making sure their daughter could play sports at the coveted Plant High, according to FHSAA. The Tampa Tribune. Some fellow school board members and others say the board chairman’s letter to the association was an unusual step. Tampa Bay Times.

Guidance counselor: After two years of searching, Lacoochee Elementary School in rural northeast Pasco County finds a new guidance counselor. 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.


Cherry picking?? What’s wrong with that? McKay and Step Up schools do the same!!!!

Hi RC, thanks for writing. We hear that charge a lot, but the research shows otherwise. David Figlio, a highly regarded education researcher at Northwestern, has found the students who use Florida tax credit scholarships were generally the lowest performers in the public schools they attended before going to private schools. Here’s his latest report: https://www.floridaschoolchoice.org/pdf/FTC_Research_2011-12_report.pdf.

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