Florida schools roundup: school grades, school grades, school grades & more

School grades. A sharply divided state Board of Education votes to keep the “safety net” provision intact for another year, meaning no schools will see their grades fall by more than one letter grade. Coverage from Orlando Sentinel, Tampa Bay Times, Miami Herald, Palm Beach Post, Lakeland Ledger, Gainesville Sun, Tallahassee DemocratTampa Tribune, Bradenton Herald, Sarasota Herald Tribune, Fort Myers News PressAssociated PressStateImpact Florida, Florida CurrentTCPalm.comEducation Week.

florida roundup logoA look at grade projections. Gradebook, Tallahassee DemocratSchool grades are no longer an accurate barometer of school performance, the state admits. South Florida Sun Sentinel. Frank Cerabino: “When the going gets tough, the definition of success gets changed.”

The Foundation for Florida’s Future argued against the move. Gradebook, SchoolZone. The grading system needs some accountability of its own. Tampa Bay Times. Pinellas officials question whether school grades should remain in the district’s strategic plan. Gradebook. Reaction in Duval. Florida Times Union. The view in Marion. Ocala Star Banner.

Charter schools. With 42 charters and counting, Hillsborough creates a new position: charter schools director. Tampa Bay Times. Pasco may consider a charter that seeks to offer “hands-on education with farm animals for children with mild intellectual disabilities.” Tampa Bay Times.

Teacher conduct: Police say they found child pornography on the computer of a former private school teacher in West Palm Beach already facing charges of molesting fourth graders. Palm Beach Post.

Teacher pay. The Collier County School Board votes to give teachers a 1 percent bonus, but no raise. Naples Daily News.

Community support. The Ridgecrest community in Largo rallies to help its kids take advantage of a new summer school program in Pinellas. Tampa Bay Times.

Ed politics. The National Education Association lines up behind Democratic congressional candidate Gwen Graham, who is hoping to unseat U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City. Florida Current.

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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.