Florida roundup: Common Core, testing, tax credit scholarships & more

Ron Matus

Tax credit scholarships. House Speaker Will Weatherford and Americans for Prosperity tout the proposed program expansion (among other non-education-related issues) before the start of the session. Orlando Sentinel. Gets a mention in The Florida Current and Sunshine State News, too. Also gets a mention in this Times/Herald story, which oddly refers to the tax credit scholarship program as the ” ‘opportunity scholarship’ voucher program” and says Republicans are moving ahead on it “to appeal to their political base and special-interest groups.” First Coast News in Jacksonville logs in a brief story. (Full disclosure: The program is administered by Step Up For Students, which co-hosts this blog.)

florida-roundup-logoDual enrollment. State Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz, proposes “collegiate high schools” tied to Florida colleges that would help students earn more college credit and industry certifications. Orlando Sentinel.

Magnet schools. Supply and demand doesn’t match up for magnet programs in Orange. School Zone.

Common Core. As the legislative session begins, the conversation shifts from what’s in them to how to implement. StateImpact Florida. Does Jeb Bush realize what Common Core will do to school choice? Fox News, picking up EAG.

Teacher unions. Intercepts logs in the “melodrama” from the election for a new head of the Broward union.

Teacher evals. VAM is “bureaucratic baloney,” writes Tampa Tribune columnist Joe Henderson.

Testing. Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart takes on the Florida Education Association’s criticism of testing for special-needs students. Gradebook. Extra Credit. Answer Sheet.

Education spending. Mo’ money, mo’ problems for the Leg this year? Sarasota Herald Tribune.

School boards. The Hernando County School District is investigating grades changes involving the son of a school board member. Tampa Bay Times. One Manatee school board member calls another a “lap dog” during a training session to better communications. Bradenton Herald. Orange County’s Rick Roach, known throughout Florida and beyond for opposition to standardized testing, won’t run for re-election. Orlando Sentinel.

School recognition $. Still a few weeks away. Ocala Star Banner.

Students with disabilities. Hillsborough County School District bus drivers say they don’t get enough training for transporting ESE kids. Tampa Bay Times.

Privatization? Substitute teachers in Polk no longer work for the Polk County School District; they work for a private company. The Ledger.

Employee conduct. A Leon County assistant superintendent is arrested after deputies stop his truck and find “31.6 grams of cocaine, eight different types of controlled prescription medications and $1,637 in cash.” Tallahassee Democrat.

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