Latest in Florida Education

Union Busting

The Florida House approves legislation that would decertify employee unions, including for teachers, that do not have at least 50 percent eligible employee participation. "Unions representing teachers, nurses and other public-sector workers have hammered the proposal for weeks, describing it as old-school “union-busting.” Continue Reading 

School choice

Expanding school choice: "The bill, which was posted online Tuesday night addresses a myriad of issues such as accountability of private schools receiving tax credits, allows schools to set up their own governing boards with school board approval and expands a now-pilot program for excelling principals to oversee multiple schools. Continue Reading 

Guns in schools

Florida lawmakers look to clear way for guns at religious schools: The Florida House and Senate have started moving forward with measures that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns on the grounds of churches and other religious institutions that include schools. Continue Reading 

State Education Leaders Fail This Simple Test

Want to annoy an education leader in Florida?  Tell them they’ve turned your child’s school into an assembly line of tiny test takers. Tell them innovation and imagination and excitement are rapidly disappearing in favor of teaching to the test. And when they deny it, tell them to watch a video of themselves. Continue Reading 

Vouchers, Charter Schools, Testing

Lawmakers return to Tallahassee with key education issues on their agenda. Every year, education policy tends to jump to the top of Florida's legislative priority list — even after lawmakers vow to take a break from it. The topic can get emotional. Continue Reading 

 

Teacher Merit Pay

Florida’s controversial teacher merit-pay law could be scaled back again in coming months, as some state lawmakers think student test scores should no longer play into teacher evaluations.

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How Effective Is Your School District? A New Measure Shows Where Students Learn the Most

".....The data, based on some 300 million elementary-school test scores across more than 11,000 school districts, tweaks conventional wisdom in many ways. Some urban and Southern districts are doing better than data typically suggests. Some wealthy ones don’t look that effective. Many poor school systems do.....

 

But in this analysis, which measures how scores grow as student cohorts move through school, the Stanford researcher Sean Reardon argues that it’s possible to separate some of the advantages of socioeconomics from what’s actually happening in schools."- 

DeVos Rescinds Guidance Documents for Disabled Students: What Does It Mean?

What does rescinding these guidance documents mean for the future of IDEA? Should parents and families, and educators expect new policy changes now for students with disabilities?

Recently, the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rescinded 72 guidance documents from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). These guidance documents provide interpretation for the policies and regulations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act (IDEA). We talked to Professor Thomas Hehir about these changes and what they mean going forward for the administration, and for the parents and families of disabled students. Hehir, as former director of the OSEP from 1993 to 1999, was responsible for federal leadership in implementing IDEA, and wrote some of the guidelines that were rescinded by DeVos…..Continue Reading

Florida Education News

The Orange County School Board voted Tuesday to join a proposed lawsuit that will challenge the constitutionality of parts of a controversial education law the Florida Legislature passed this spring.

Orange’s board, which voted 8-0 to join the legal fight, is the 10th district to do so, deciding...Continue Reading

Two lawmakers have filed bills that could alter the way Florida's school boards operate in the future. One could potentially expand their powers. The other would likely decrease them. The first measure [SB 192] would codify in law that two or more members of a school board or other elected body may meet privately, and without any public notice, if no official acts or public business are to occur.  The second measure [SJR 194] would set term limits on elected school board members. Currently, board members can serve until ousted. The Tampa Bay reports  

Public Education Capital Outlay

Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO)

Late last week, superintendents learned exactly what their piece of the $50 million Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) allocation would be. For some of the larger districts, it might get them close to paying for a new classroom wing. In the smaller ones, it might not even pay for air conditioning repairs.- Jeffrey S. Solochek from The Tampa Bay reports

After months of bullying, a 12-year-old New Jersey girl killed herself.

After months of bullying, a 12-year-old New Jersey girl killed herself. Her parents blame the school.

For months, 12-year-old Mallory Grossman received the taunts in text messages, Instagram posts and Snapchats.

She was a loser and had no friends, they told her. At one point, according to an attorney for Mallory’s family, the girls even asked her, “Why don’t you kill yourself?”

In the classrooms and hallways of her middle school in Rockaway Township, N.J., a group of sixth grade girls continued to torment her. They would tease Mallory, give her dirty looks and snub her, shooing her away from their lunch table….Read the story in the Washington Post

 

Volusia School Board chair leading statewide fight for fairer funding

Flagler County school board members must join Melody Johnson, Volusia County School Board Chairwoman in the fight for fair funding for Flagler students. The status quo is no longer acceptable. It’s time to act.

“The DCD(District Cost Differential)  has also hurt Flagler County, which ranks 65th among the 67 county districts in the amount of funds received per student.

Johnson believes it’s time to do more than just complain.

“If I keep sitting here being an armchair opinion maker, it doesn’t effect any change,” she said. “So that’s why I’m out there. That’s why I’m giving up what limited time I have in my life.”

“I’m starting to try to light the fire, fan the flames,” she said, noting that she aims to present to the 10 districts that are most negatively impacted by the formula — some likely via video.

Watch Melody Johnson speak about the issue – News-JournalOnline.com reports  Follow Melody Johnson on Twitter @melody4thekids 

Florida Department of Education wants your input

Florida has drafted a plan for how it will implement a new federal education law, and it is asking the public to weigh in.

The Florida Department of Education has posted on its website both its draft Every Student Succeeds Act plan and an online survey. Residents can fill out the survey until July 31....Find out more