Sister Marie Schramko
Fundamental problem: More black students than ever are applying for fundamental schools in Pinellas County, but black enrollment is at an all-time low. It’s largely the result of a series of school board decisions to close some schools and change admittance rules for the fundamental schools. Tampa Bay Times.
School testing: The Department of Education is warning states that they still are responsible to deal with schools that show high rates of students opting out of standardized testing. Education Week. Both the federal and state governments are trying to cap the amount of time students spend taking tests. But the effect in Florida will probably be minimal. Palm Beach Post.
Education bills: A bill is filed that would create a social services-oriented pilot program for the state’s poorest and lowest-performing schools. Meanwhile, legislators are still working on a bill that would give students and schools the option of replacing state assessment tests with nationally recognized ones. Gradebook. A move to improve oversight of home-schooled children is not likely to be taken to the Legislature. Bradenton Herald.
Single-sex schools: The benefits of single-sex education are inconclusive, but that’s done nothing to dampen their popularity. From 2004 to 2014, the number of single-sex public schools in the United States jumped from 34 to 850. The Atlantic.
Gifted schools: The Orange County School District plans to open schools for gifted middle school and elementary students. School board chairman Bill Sublette says the district hopes to bring back gifted students whose parents now send them to private schools. The timetable is to open the schools in three to six years. Orlando Sentinel.
School attendance: Manatee County schools are reducing chronic absenteeism after hiring 25 “graduation enhancement technicians” to intervene with students in high-poverty schools before absenteeism slips into truancy. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.