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Florida schools roundup: District vs. charter schools, learning options & more

District vs. charter: District schools try new marketing tactics to compete with charter schools, which continue to grow. Palm Beach Post.

florida-roundup-logoLearning options: The U.S. education revolution could find its way to Latin America, with outdated and poorly performing schools that would greatly benefit from a dose of “flipped classrooms” and personalized learning, writes Andres Oppenheimer for the Miami Herald. Florida high school students have three different tracks that will lead to diplomas. Fort Myers News-Press.

Career ed: A Sarasota County high school program trains students for future hospitality careers. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Pam Stewart: Advice for Florida’s Education Commissioner: Keep it simple. Keep the focus on the students and their futures, writes The Ledger.

STEM: An Escambia elementary school receives a $5,000 STEM grant to beef up student offerings. Pensacola News-Journal.

Common Core: For Exxon Mobil, a new set of academic standards spreading across schools in Florida and nationwide offers the chance for U.S. students to compete more effectively. The Tampa Tribune. PolitiFact takes a look at Education Commissioner Pam Stewart’s claim that there isn’t any additional cost with implementing Common Core, and finds it Half True. Tampa Bay Times.

Cyberbullies: Strip school bullies of their cell phones, take away their laptops and other electronic gadgets. Hit them where it hurts, writes the Sun Sentinel. If we’re not careful, the word “bully” could become meaningless, writes Beth Kassab of the Orlando Sentinel.

Class size: Brevard County school officials decide to pay $170,000 in fines rather than hire the 64 additional teachers needed to meet the law. Florida Today. These Hernando County schools are among the district’s most underutilized. Tampa Bay Times. A recent change to Florida law allows school districts to skirt the toughest rules of the mandate. Tampa Bay Times.

School budgets: Santa Rosa school officials prepare to tighten their belts to address a looming budget problem. Pensacola News-Journal. St. Johns County used stimulus money to save teacher jobs, train educators in struggling schools, pay for technology and build an elementary school. Florida Times-Union.

Mentoring: For the past 17 years, this after-school program offers students tutoring and mentoring, and lets them earn wages by cleaning their schools. Bradenton Herald.

Dress codes: School administrators from one Pinellas high school make students sign a contract stating they understand the rules before they are allowed to attend a much-anticipated dance. The Tampa Tribune.

Conduct: Bradenton Police take over the investigation of a Manatee County school district baseball coach. Bradenton Herald. A Hillsborough district investigation into two teachers working with exceptional education students sheds light on those who work with vulnerable kids. 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.