Florida schools roundup: Charters, digital ed, homeschooling & more

Sherri Ackerman

Charter schools: A Florida House subcommittee looks at having the state Department of Education review charter applications before they go to the districts for approval. redefinED.  More from The Buzz.  Lawmakers also talk about possible legislation looking at allowing charter schools access to underutilized district buildings. Herald/Times. The draft bill may help ease the way for out-of-state charter groups that want to open high-performing schools in Florida. Tampa Bay Times.

florida-roundup-logoDigital learning: Miami-Dade County school district plans to roll out 100,000 laptops and tablets to students by August 2015. Miami Herald. K12 Inc. focuses on expanding and using technology-based learning programs from pre-kindergarten through college on a global basis. Businessweek.

Homeschooling: Palm Beach County homeschoolers participate in National Geographic Bee. Sun Sentinel.

School construction: Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam will launch a statewide awareness campaign next week to create a new revenue source for construction and renovations at schools, colleges and universities. The Buzz.

Petition: Civil rights groups target Florida with a petition drive and grassroots movement to overturn the state’s race-based educational achievement goals. Reuters.

Common Core: Cursive writing could survive in Florida schools after all, thanks to newly implemented education standards. Sun Sentinel. Students in Hillsborough County schools will field test the multi-state Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test this year, despite state leaders rejecting the exam. StateImpact Florida.

Extended day: A new state report finds that a majority of selected schools that added an extra hour of reading instruction in 2012-13 showed improvement. Tampa Bay Times.

Teachers: The Education Foundation – Champions for Learning names its 25 Teachers of Distinction in Collier County. Naples Daily News. State funding helps Polk public schools and USF put on a two-day training program to entice minority and male college students to become local elementary teachers. The Ledger.

Discipline: Hillsborough tracks suspension rates and looks at how to turn around a disturbing trend: Disciplinary action is meted out to students of color at far greater rates than to students as a whole. The Tampa Tribune.

Lawsuit: Two sisters sue the Hillsborough County school district for not letting them play softball after they transfer to a new high school. The Tampa Tribune.

Teachers unions: Pinellas and Pasco county teachers unions are looking for new leaders. Tampa Bay Times.

Rain day: Heavy rains close Palm Beach County district schools and Catholic schools. Sun Sentinel.

Conduct: A Clay County second-grade teacher resigns from her job after being arrested and charged with having sex with a minor. Florida Times-Union.

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