Florida schools roundup: Virtual ed, Rick Scott, accountability & more

Virtual Ed: District online classes grow in Volusia and Flagler counties, helping schools become more user-friendly for students. Daytona Beach News-Journal. New Pasco County schools’ online program is the brainchild of two teachers, and builds upon current virtual offerings. Tampa Bay Times. 

FL roundup logo snippedRick Scott: During an online live chat with the education blog redefinED, outgoing state Board of Education member Kathleen Shanahan says Scott needs to express full-throated support for Common Core. Tallahassee Democrat. 

Common Core: The future of Common Core to improve academic achievement is largely being undermined by — and there is no gentle way to put this — very shrill, stupid people, writes Dan Ruth for the Tampa Bay Times. In our mobile society, why wouldn’t we want our children to be assured of being taught the same high-level, college- and career-ready standards in the same grade level across the country? writes high school reading and English teacher Mella Baxter for the Orlando Sentinel. ExxonMobil comes out in support of the Common Core. Sunshine State News.

Accountability: A new study finds Florida’s eighth-graders hold their own on international math and science tests, but fall short of marks posted by top-performing nations and U.S. states. Sun-Sentinel. More from StateImpact Florida.

Teacher pay: Palm Beach County school officials offer most local teachers another $76 on top of the $2,000 raises previously offered, but teachers still are seeing red. Palm Beach Post. Hernando teachers and district officials continue to hash out agreement for raises. Tampa Bay Times.

Racial gap: Pinellas County administrators look to students for help in overcoming the district’s racial divide. The Tampa Tribune. Pinellas County’s superintendent says the district will be aggressive as it tackles the achievement gap between black students and their peers. Tampa Bay Times.

Interactive: The Palm Beach County school district has a new interactive website that lets visitors get an in-depth view of schools. Sun Sentinel.

Educators: A Santa Rosa eighth-grade teacher hosts “Amazing Handshake Day” competition to instill confidence in students and prepare them for the professional world. Pensacola News-Journal. Escambia County educator Lon Wise of  is recognized for more than 40 years of teaching. Pensacola News-Journal. 

Shigellosis: Broward health officials warn parents, schools and day care centers about the spread of a very contagious bacterial infection. Sun Sentinel.

Contest: The Manatee High School Marching ‘Canes beat 13 other bands for the Grand Champion award at the Lion’s Pride competition in Tampa. Bradenton Herald.

Conduct: A Seminole County high school teacher suspended for five days after he taped a student’s hands and mouth is spared harsher punishment because the youth and her family didn’t think he meant any harm. Orlando Sentinel. St. Lucie’s district communications director is back at work after a DUI arrest, though with reassigned duties. TC Palm. A 16-year-old Hillsborough County high school student brings a gun on campus and uses it in an after-school fight by pointing it at another teen and pistol-whipping him. The Tampa Tribune.

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