The Lake County school board could vote later this month on whether to outlaw the use of corporal punishment in schools. The district hasn’t paddled students in years, and was sued over the use of paddling in 1988 by a parent.
Florida just completed the first year of one of the biggest experiments in U.S. education.
For the first time this year, every grade in every public school used new math and language arts standards that outline what students should know each year. The goal to have is high school graduates who are ready for college-level classes or the full-time work force.
School district and state leaders generally support the switch. Teacher and parent opinions differ about whether the new standards are an improvement.
But nearly everyone agrees the switch has been imperfect.
“This has been not necessarily a smooth transition,” said Miami-Dade schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Florida’s K-12 education efforts are getting a boost from federal funds going to support about 700 Americorps volunteers in Orlando, Jacksonville and Miami.
The State Board of Education will consider changing the state’s standard contract for charter schools to require applicants to report affiliations with other charter schools. Charter school applicants would also have to report the academic and financial performance of those schools.
The proposal is a response to the rate of charter school closures across the state. A South Florida Sun-Sentinel series tracked the issue in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, finding more than 50 charter schools had closed in the past five year. Overall, nearly one in three Florida charter schools has closed since 1998.
Some schools closed owing school districts hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Bradenton’s IMG Academy is getting $2 million in the state budget to expand its campus. The school trains pro athletes in many sports and charges up to $80,000 a year. School officials say the money will help lure sports research jobs to Florida.
Thursday the Senate could begin debating a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind. Right now, the proposal would still require annual testing, but Education Week has the rundown on the areas of debate and what amendments to expect.
The Florida Education Association and League of Women Voters are appealing a judge’s decision which dismissed their challenge of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program. The program gives companies a dollar-for-dollar tax credit if they donate to a private school scholarship fund targeted toward low-income families.
Virginia Commonwealth University has hired a data firm to help the school find “markers” that indicate when a student is more likely to drop out. The school doesn’t know yet whether graduation rates will improve, but the school has seen the number of students completing courses and re-enrolling improve.
Florida state lawmakers have acknowledged an over emphasis on tying job evaluations to student test scores. But as they re-evaluate their approach and retool measurements for teacher accountability, teachers and unions wait to see what comes next.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is expected to become a Republican presidential candidate Monday.
Education has been a signature issue for Bush. He helped start Florida’s first charter school. He says schools and teachers should be judged on student performance. He pushed for vouchers for private schools.
And he spent most of his time since leaving the Florida governor’s office advocating for his brand of school reform.
Bush will ensure education is a top issue in the 2016 presidential race. But he’s not the only candidate with a strong record on schools.
“You have a roster of candidates that are quite strong on this issue from the Republican side,” said Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education think tank which generally supports Bush’s version of education reform.
“It did not get much airtime in 2008 or 2012 and I think it’s going to be different this time around. And for those of us that care about education and schools, I think that’s a good thing. It’s better to have the country engaged on these issues.”
Bush is the 800-pound gorilla in the GOP field. His family has already produced two U.S. presidents. He has been raising tens of millions over the past few months as he explores a presidential bid. And he has an 8-year record as Florida governor.