Desegregation case: The plaintiffs in a 50-year-old Pinellas County desegregation case are asking a federal court for help in enforcing the settlement. They allege the district is not fulfilling its commitment to provide safe schools for black students, isn’t treating them fairly in discipline cases, isn’t hiring and retaining black teachers, and is failing to increase the number of black students in magnets and special programs. The legal move sets into motion a process that includes negotiations between the sides, mediation and, if necessary, the appointment of a special overseer to report to the court. Tampa Bay Times.
Resume-padding: Anthony Hamlet, who was recently named to lead the Pittsburgh school district, embellished his achievements as Palm Beach County school administrator. His resume is at odds with the facts on lifting a school’s grade from an F to a C, on raising a school’s graduation rate by 13 percentage points, and on his district responsibilities. Hamlet called questions about his resume “a few percentage-point discrepancies” and of little consequence in the full context of his career. A Pittsburgh official says Hamlet “set himself far apart from the pool” in several ways beyond his resume. Palm Beach Post. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Supplemental pay scheme: Eastside High School paid almost $15,000 in supplemental pay over three and a half years to four staff members who did nothing to earn it and who simply passed it along to football coach Jeffrey Parker. Principal Jeff Charbonnet told a committee investigating the payments that he approved the payments after the district rejected it, and knew the money was going to Parker. Gainesville Sun.
Retention confusion: Parents and school districts in central Florida are battling over the insistence of the districts that third-grade students have test results to be promoted. One, Rhonda Nickerson, says her 9-year-old daughter got straight A’s, but is being retained. Some parents say the retention threat should apply only to students with reading problems, not youngsters with no Florida Standards Assessments score but with good grades and reading skills. State official disagree, saying the retention law applies to everyone. Orlando Sentinel. Four third-graders in Palm Beach County with great grades are being retained because they didn’t take the FSA, and their parents refused the district’s portfolio option because it’s made up of a series of tests. “If the teacher has taught the standards and the report card grades the standards, why can’t they use the report card?” asks Cindy Hamilton, an Orange County mom who cofounded the Opt Out Florida Network with Sandy Stenoff. Palm Beach Post.