Alternative tests: The Florida Senate education committee approves a bill that would allow school districts to use the SAT or ACT instead of the Florida Standards Assessments tests to measure student progress. But Education Commissioner Pam Stewart opposes the plan and the bill does not have a companion proposal in the House, so its prospects for passage are uncertain. Orlando Sentinel. Miami Herald. Politico Florida. Lakeland Ledger. WFSU. The bill, which won’t appeal to everyone, would add testing flexibility. Lloyd Dunkelberger, Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Sex education: Two Democrats sponsor a bill to give school districts the option of providing comprehensive sex education to students. With the state leading the nation in new HIV infections, Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Cutler Bay, and Rep. Reggie Fullwood, D-Jacksonville, are calling the bill the “Florida Healthy Adolescence Act.” Tampa Bay Times.
Teacher evaluations: It’s been four years since the Palm County School District started a new evaluation system for teachers, and not a single one has been rated unsatisfactory, according to a school district report. Palm Beach Post.
Capital request questioned: Jacksonville city leaders say School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti’s suggestion that the district needs $1 billion for new schools, renovations and additions comes at a bad time. The city already is looking for support from the state and voters for a plan to collect sales taxes to cover unfunded pension liabilities. Florida Times-Union.
Computer coding: Florida Sen. Jeremy Ring, R-Margate, says the softened House version of his bill to allow computer coding as an alternative to foreign language requirements is unacceptable. Politico Florida.
Common Core: The Florida Parents Against Common Core is joining the national libertarian activist group FreedomWorks in its effort to have the Common Core State Standards banished from schools. Sunshine State News.