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Florida roundup: Failure factories, school choice, back to school and more

florida-roundup-logoSchool choice. The school system needs to be tailored to individual students’ needs, Miami-Dade’s superintendent writes in a back-to-school op-ed touting the expansion of the district’s school choice programs. Miami Herald. Duval students return with more choices available. Florida Times-Union.

Failure factories. Part two of a Tampa Bay Times investigation of five struggling elementary schools is here. District officials address the public. A columnist offers up ideas.

Back to school. More districts around the state start classes today. Miami Herald. Tampa Tribune. Daytona Beach News-JournalStuart News. Leesburg Daily Commercial. Manatee’s new chief says the district needs to do better in the coming year. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Officials need to ensure students are ready to learn, the Herald-Tribune editorializes. Groups help low-income and homeless students get ready for school. Tampa Tribune. Miami Herald. Bradenton Herald. Gainesville Sun. Orange and Brevard Counties expect enrollment jumps. Orlando Sentinel. Florida Today.

Tax credit scholarships. Crux looks at the impact scholarship programs in Florida and elsewhere are having on Catholic schools.

Charter schools. A high-poverty charter school for girls prepares for the new school year. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Teacher evaluations. Why do so few Broward teachers get top marks? Sun-Sentinel.

Discipline. Miami-Dade rolls out a new approach in time for the start of school. Miami Herald.

Growth. Manatee schools are brimming with students. Bradenton Herald. More here.

NCLB. Florida gets its federal waiver renewed. Gradebook. School Zone.

Special needs. A former homecoming king with Down syndrome and legions of fans succumbs to pneumonia. Orlando Sentinel.

Learning disabilities. Duval opens a new school for children with dyslexia. Florida Times-Union

Testing. State officials plan to hold the administrator of state assessments accountable for glitches. Pensacola News-Journal. 

History. A family has taught in Volusia schools for more than 60 years and over multiple generations. Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Private schools. The Bradenton Herald visits the youngest learners at sports-focused IMG Academy.

Rotation. Some Hillsborough high schools plan to eliminate homeroom. Tampa Bay Times. Some Polk elementary schools will rotate students among classes. Lakeland Ledger.

Nutrition. Some Collier elementary students get breakfast at their desks. Naples Daily News.

STEM. Is Florida addicted to biology, at the expense of other science subjects? Bridge to Tomorrow. Top Brevard science teachers are recognized. Florida Today.

Teacher pay. Miami-Dade management and teachers agree on raises. Miami Herald.

Transportation. New software may be exacerbating Palm Beach bus woes. Palm Beach Post. More from the Sun-Sentinel.

Administration. A Bay elementary principal receives recognition. Panama City News Herald.

Teacher conduct. A middle school teacher might lose his job after being caught on tape dragging a student by the ankle. Bay News 9.

Campaigns. A St. Petersburg city councilman hopes to run for school board. Gradebook.

Arts. Bay schools plan new arts centers funded by philanthropic donations. Panama City News Herald.

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BY Travis Pillow

Travis Pillow is Director of Thought Leadership at Step Up For Students and editor of NextSteps. He lives in Sanford, Fla. with his wife and two children. A former Tallahassee statehouse reporter, he most recently worked at the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a research organization at Arizona State University, where he studied community-led learning innovation and school systems' responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. He can be reached at tpillow (at)