Florida schools roundup: Civics, algebra, animal cruelty and more

Travis Pillow

Civics testing. Education Commissioner Pam Stewart concludes Florida school districts did not break the law when they shifted state civics test-takers from seventh grade to eighth grade, and that their moves were “educationally sound.” Orlando Sentinel. Sarasota-Herald-Tribune. Bradenton Herald. Florida Times-Union. Gradebook.

Bullying. A mother’s secret recording catches a teacher calling a kindergarten student a “loser.” Miami Herald.

Low bar? Students may pass Florida’s mandatory Algebra I assessment, but still not be ready to do algebra on a college level. Florida Phoenix.

Animal cruelty. Lawyers specializing in animal issues criticize a decision not to prosecute a teacher who drowned mammals in front of his students. Citrus County Chronicle.

Early learning. Tougher tests lead to lower statewide ratings of kindergarten readiness. Orlando Sentinel.

Funding. Florida public schools’ strong performance belies the state’s low national ratings for education funding. The Capitolist.

Turnaround. An outside operator outlines its plans to boost performance at two persistently struggling Duval County schools. Florida Times-Union.

Irma’s wake. Federal disaster relief will allow Hernando County public schools to provide all students free lunches for several years. Tampa Bay Times. The proprietor of a troubled nursing home where residents died during last year’s hurricane is working to open a charter school. Miami News Times.

School safety. Parkland shooting survivors will receive varying payouts through a GoFundMe campaign. Florida Phoenix.

Campaigns. A candidate challenging a Pasco County School Board incumbent accuses the school district of smearing her online. Gradebook.

Nutrition. Volusia schools revamp their menus with new, student-approved dishes. Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Summer jobs. A new initiative supports youth employment in Bay County. Panama City News Herald.

Teachers unions. Florida Education Association leaders call a union-certification law passed earlier this year “a slap at teachers.” Florida Phoenix.

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