Florida schools roundup: Charter and magnet schools, Common Core & more

Charter schools: Nearly a dozen employees sue a shuttered Fort Lauderdale charter school, saying they are owed $40,000. Sun Sentinel. University Preparatory Academy’s assistant principal tells a community group that most of the 69 students who have withdrawn from the school came from Pinellas County fundamental schools, but the Tampa Bay Times finds that’s not so.

florida-roundup-logoCivics magnet: Leon County’s new history and civics-based magnet program opens at the 157-year-old Woodville Elementary. Tallahassee Democrat.

Parents ROCK: A new Collier County parents’ group forms as ROCK, Rights Of Choice For Kids. Naples Daily News.

Career Ed: A Polk County career education center lets students learn while helping others get the eyeglasses they need. The Ledger. 

Common Core: Florida is three years into implementing the new standards, with the benchmarks fully in use in kindergarten through second grade. StateImpact Florida. Common Core opponents will host press conferences and a rally throughout the day in an attempt to slow down the standards. The Tampa Tribune. To the parents questioning the impact that Common Core State Standards will have in our public schools, I say: Demand answers! writes John Romano for the Tampa Bay Times. Proponents of Common Core should have met with opponents early on and explained the plan in greater detail, writes Lloyd Brown for Sunshine State News.

Teacher pay: A tentative agreement has Miami-Dade school teachers getting a raise of at least $1,100, and a chance to earn the $2,500 raise pledged by Gov. Rick Scott this year. Miami Herald.

Florida BOE: Florida Board of Education member Sally Bradshaw, resigns two months before her term ends. The Buzz.

Funding: A new Florida Auditor General’s report shows the influx of federal stimulus money helped Florida school districts rebound from dire financial conditions. Tampa Bay Times.

Lost and not found: Dozens of computers, projectors and school-bus videotaping devices costing at least $74,000 have been missing from Lake County schools since the 2011-12 school year. Orlando Sentinel.

Principal switch: Polk’s superintendent transfers a local elementary school principal after hearing from parents about problems. The Ledger.

Leadership academy: A mentoring program helps Jacksonville boys and girls blossom into youth who can speak for themselves and for others. Florida Times-Union.

Testing: Lee County teachers add points to students’ standardized tests featuring questions deemed too difficult or confusing in a practice called scaling. Fort Myers News-Press. Placement tests, such as the ACT and  SAT, are important in determining a student’s academic standing, writes the Fort Myers News-Press.

Leaders: Colleen Bevis, who spent more than six decades as a leading children’s advocate in Hillsborough County, has died. The Tampa Tribune.

Conduct: The State Attorney’s Office reviews an Escambia County School District audit to determine whether criminal charges are warranted against the district’s former food services director. Pensacola News-Journal. Hillsborough school board members meet to decide whether a former middle school assistant principal is eligible for back pay after being fired in the wake of a student death. The Tampa Tribune. More from the Tampa Bay Times. The Manatee School Board suspends three employees without pay following an investigation into former coach. Bradenton Herald.


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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.