Florida schools roundup: school choice, school rankings, school spending & more

School choice. Pasco Superintendent Kurt Browning says the district’s record in providing more school choice has been “abysmal.” Gradebook.

Charter schools. The principal of a YMCA charter in Venice is put on leave for undisclosed reasons. Sarasota Herald Tribune.

florida roundup logoSchool turnarounds. Seven teachers who applied to keep their jobs at struggling Lacoochee Elementary in Pasco are not selected. Tampa Bay Times.

School rankings. Newsweek says 115 of the nation’s 2,000 best high schools, including five of the Top 20, are in Florida. StateImpact Florida. Nine Volusia schools make the list, reports the Daytona Beach News Journal.

School spending. Miami Herald: “On Wednesday, the Miami-Dade School Board voted to explore the establishment of a trademark and licensing program that would create official district merchandise and at the same time outlaw pirate products.” The Lake County School Board looks at a slew of cuts to close a $16 million budget deficit, reports the Orlando Sentinel. The Marion school board rejects pay raises for teachers and paraprofessionals through the end of this year, reports the Ocala Star Banner.

Legislative wrap-up. Parent trigger aside, Patricia Levesque sees a lot of positive changes. Orlando Sentinel.

Teacher conduct. In the same week as the porn guy/math tutor story in Palm Beach County, an English teacher/bikini model in Martin is asked to resign and gets international publicity. South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Teacher appreciation. In honor of Mrs. Whitehead. EdFly Blog.

Superintendents. The search in Polk focuses on the internal candidate. Lakeland Ledger.

Go to school. Florida Times Union: “An appeals court in Tallahassee on Wednesday reversed a Jacksonville judge’s ruling to ban a teenage girl from attending any public school in Duval County.”

Discrimination? The U.S. DOE’s Office for Civil Rights will investigate complaints of racial discrimination in the Brevard school district. Florida Today.

CORRECTION. The original version of this post incorrectly stated the English teacher/bikini model worked in Broward County. She worked in Martin County. The post has been amended to reflect the correction.

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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.