Florida schools roundup: PARCC, Pam Stewart, teacher raises & more

School counselors: Palm Beach County elementary school counselors learn a new curriculum aimed at fourth- and fifth-graders called “Breaking The Silence: Teaching the Next Generation About Mental Illness.” Sun Sentinel.

florida-roundup-logoTeacher raises: The Orange County school district and its teachers union haven’t reached an agreement on pay increases, so the district has declared an impasse that ends months of negotiations. Orlando Sentinel.

Common Core: Gov. Rick Scott is concerned about the costs of measuring the new standards with PARCC, but most analyses shows the assessment costs about the same or less than what the state currently spends on FCAT. StateImpact Florida.

Pam Stewart: “Stewart does not inherit an easy job, but the broad support she has won early on offers reason to be optimistic about the future of education in Florida,” writes the Tallahassee Democrat.

Space project: Hillsborough County students are competing to see who gets to send their science project to the International Space Station, where it will be conducted by astronauts. Tampa Bay Times.

Summer reading: About half of Pinellas elementary school students improve their reading skills after attending a first-time summer program for struggling learners, while 47 percent stay at level or lose ground. Tampa Bay Times.

Bullying: Duval County Public Schools re-launches its anonymous tip hotline with a new feature to help encourage reporting of incidents: texting. Florida Times-Union. A Dallas-based motivational speaker tells Sarasota County high school students about being the target of bullies. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Conduct: A Broward County teacher facing termination for allegedly bullying a co-worker, cursing, and inappropriately confronting a student will return to the classroom after a state judge rules her punishment was too severe. Sun Sentinel. The state is investigating a Sarasota elementary teacher for improperly helping her students on the FCAT test. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

READ Polk: The spelling event and fundraiser is held to raise awareness about the importance of literacy. The Ledger.

Civic lessons: Constitution Hall, a new exhibit at the Gus A. Stavros Institute in Largo,  aims to teach Pinellas County students about local government. Tampa Bay Times.

Feeder schools: The Pinellas School Board looks at eliminating a “feeder pattern” that gives students at one elementary school first dibs, along with fundamental students, when applying for seats at the A-rated Thurgood Marshall middle school. Tampa Bay Times.

First lady: Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s wife, Ann Scott, reads to students at a Hernando County K-8 school as part of her literacy outreach. Tampa Bay Times.

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BY Sherri Ackerman

Sherri Ackerman is the former associate editor of redefinED. She is a former correspondent for the Tampa Bay Times and reporter for The Tampa Tribune, writing about everything from cops and courts to social services and education. She grew up in Indiana and moved to Tampa as a teenager, graduating from Brandon High School and, later, from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications/news editing. Sherri passed away in March 2016.