Florida schools roundup: Career tech, STEM ed, Eric Cantor & more

School choice: Florida’s changing educational landscape requires policymakers to strike a balance when it comes to school choice offerings, writes Duval County School Board member Jason Fischer for Context Florida.

florida-roundup-logoCareer tech: Five high schools around Orange County will get $1 million to expand career and technical programs on their campuses thanks to a grant from Dr. Phillips Charities. Orlando Sentinel. Students get to show off their techie skills in a recent regional competition. Tampa Bay Times.

STEM ed: A national nonprofit called Girls Who Code is working to grow the next generation of STEM–science, technology, engineering and math–stars in South Florida. StateImpact Florida.

Eric Cantor: U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor will tour Academy Prep Center of Tampa today. ABC Action News.

Legislation: StudentsFirst is pushing a bill that would require the state to create a statewide return on investment index and rating system for all schools. Tampa Bay Times. U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has introduced legislation that ends the practice of restraining or secluding students with disabilities who become out of control, something Florida has considered. Tampa Bay Times. A proposed bill would give school districts full control over textbook selection, removing the state from the process completely. Tampa Bay Times.

Common Core: The Orlando Sentinel provides readers with a Q&A on the new education standards.

Superintendents: Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has been named the country’s top schools chief. Miami Herald.

Teachers: Thomashefsky, or “Mr. T” as he’s called by his students, is the 2014 Lee County Teacher of the Year. Fort Myers News-Press.

State testing: Parents and teachers worry over heavy testing schedule. Orlando Sentinel.

School grades: Florida’s A-to-F school grading formula could be simplified this year with high school grades available months earlier. Orlando Sentinel.

Budget cuts: Brevard County holds parent forums to discuss possible program cuts. Florida Today.

Doing good: A Manatee High School senior collects jeans for the homeless in hopes of making a difference in her community. Bradenton Herald.

Conduct: Lee County sheriff’s deputies investigate allegations of sexual misconduct by a former Estero High School teacher that involves a female student. Naples Daily News.

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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.