Florida roundup: Teacher of the Year, school grades fears, Rick Scott & more

Charter schools. An all-boys charter is set to open next month in Bradenton. Bradenton Herald.

florida roundup logoTeacher of the year. It’s Dorina Sackman, an ESOL teacher at Westridge Middle School in Orange County. Orlando SentinelAssociated Press. The Florida Times Union has coverage on finalist Apryl Shackelford from Duval; the Fort Myers News Press on finalist Patricia Gair from Lee; the Sarasota Herald Tribune on finalist Katrin Rudge from Sarasota County.

Rick Scott. Several Florida teachers did not know they would be turning up in a Republican Party of Florida ad praising Gov. Scott. Tampa Tribune.

Ed reform. Lloyd Brown at Sunshine State News: “When public education was hijacked by liberals it began a downward spiral.”

School grades. Tony Bennett might wait until next week to offer his take on possible revisions. Gradebook. Add the Tampa Tribune to the list of papers reporting on districts bracing for bad news.

School spending. Schools need more training and more central control to get a better handle on cash-handling problems, say members of a district auditing committee in Palm Beach County. Palm Beach Post.

School discipline. Alachua school board members and others meet to discuss alternatives to out-of-school suspensions, which top more than 100 a year at some schools. Gainesville Sun. Three Pinellas teens are arrested for beating up a 13-year-old on a bus, reportedly breaking his arm. Tampa Tribune.

Cheating. A former teacher at a district-run charter in Miami-Dade makes the claim, leading to an investigation by district police. Miami Herald.

ESOL. The future is grim for ESOL students because of Florida’s school accountability policies. Daniel Shoer Roth.

Bullying/cyberbullying. A Pasco student in a highly publicized case who beat up another on a school bus, while yet another filmed it, gets 270 days probation. Tampa Bay Times.

Superintendents. Joseph Joyner gets top ratings from the St. Johns County School Board. Florida Times Union.

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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.