Florida roundup: charter schools, parent trigger, career academies & more

FL roundup logo snippedCharter schools. An Orange County charter that served dyslexic students is closing after seven months because of financial problems, reports the Orlando Sentinel. The parents of a charter in Miami-Dade are in limbo after a church decides unexpectedly to end the school’s lease, reports the Miami Herald.

Virtual charter schools. In a repeat of last year, the charter school appeals commission sides with the Orange and Seminole school boards in their rejection of applications for Florida Virtual Academy schools. The state Board of Education will make the final call. SchoolZone.

Parent trigger. Two civil rights groups in Florida, LULAC and the NAACP, are opposed. StateImpact Florida.

Magnet schools. Parents plead with the St. Lucie County School Board to not close an arts magnet because of budget cuts, reports TCPalm.com. A new elementary school arts academy is in the works in Okaloosa, reports the Northwest Florida Daily News.

Career and technical. A bill filed by Sen. John Legg, R-Port Richey, would allow students to substitute industry certifications for other graduation requirements, reports Gradebook. More from the Orlando Sentinel. The Pinellas school district plans to create several new career academies for middle schools and put STEM labs in every elementary school in an effort to boost career education, reports the Tampa Bay Times. River Ridge Middle School in Pasco is realigning its curriculum to better reflect career education, the Times also reports.

Teacher evaluations. Four bills propose alternatives and/or tweaks to the new system, reports Gradebook. Pinellas looks at an alternative way of measuring teacher performance that would minimize VAM scores, reports the Tampa Bay Times. It’ll be at least two weeks before a judge decides on a lawsuit filed by the Florida Times Union to obtain teacher evaluation date from the Florida Department of Education.

Teacher unions. The new president of the United Teachers of Dade is Fedrick “Fed” Ingram. Miami Herald.

Superintendents. More about the new guy in Manatee. Bradenton Herald.

School spending. More about the “financial meltdown” in Manatee. Sarasota Herald Tribune.

Advanced Placement. Florida’s success wasn’t an accident. EdFly Blog.

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at rmatus@stepupforstudents.org or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at facebook.com/redefinedonline.