Florida roundup: Charter schools, Catholic schools, testing and more

florida-roundup-logoCatholic schools. A South Florida Catholic school revitalizes itself. Sun-Sentinel.

Testing. Escambia schools pare back local testing. Pensacola News-Journal. Scoring on new state assessments may be tougher than FCAT. School Zone. Gradebook. The Senate’s education chairman says testing changes will be up for discussion this year. Gradebook.

Charter schools. Longhorn Steakhouse hosts a fundraiser for a Viera charter school. Florida Today. Answer Sheet blogger Valerie Strauss bashes Jeb Bush and Florida charters.

Failure factories. State education officials are investigating Pinellas schools’ spending on their most disadvantaged students. Tampa Bay Times.

Graduation. Duval school board members debate limiting graduation ceremonies to students in line for diplomas. Florida Times-Union.

Superintendents. Lee schools pick an interim chief. Fort Myers News-Press. Naples Daily News.

Budgets. Orange County’s property tax rate is expected to be lowered. Orlando Sentinel. Other districts approve spending plans. Sarasota Herald-TribuneGainesville Sun. St. Augustine Record.

School boards. The Palm Beach school board has a long history with a Fort Lauderdale law firm. Palm Beach Post.

Safety. Hillsborough school board members get a lesson in CPR. Tampa Tribune. Manatee schools beef up security amid a possible threat. Bradenton Herald.

Health. Palm Beach schools may have served contaminated apple snacks. Palm Beach Post. Sun-Sentinel.

Transportation. Volusia and Flagler districts face a bus driver shortage. Daytona Beach News-Journal.

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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) sufs.org.