Florida schools roundup: Jeb Bush, Rick Scott, Common Core & more

Common Core: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush confronts criticism of Common Core, blasting it as “purely political.” The Buzz. Florida Gov. Rick Scott considers an executive order to address the growing controversy with a move that might involve new assessments. Miami Herald. A vote to support the new standards shows the Board of Education is still doing its job of looking out for schoolchildren, writes the Tampa Bay Times.

florida-roundup-logoTrayvon Martin: The slain teen’s mother speaks to a group of students at a Broward County alternative education center: “I need to tell you all how special you are and how very much needed you are.” Sun Sentinel.

Charter schools: The Palm Beach County School Board officially closes iGeneration Academy charter school, after a student goes missing on a field trip. Sun Sentinel. More from the Palm Beach Post.

School boards: School Board members in Orange, Lake, Seminole, Volusia and Osceola counties are getting nearly 4 percent raises this year. Orlando Sentinel. The Hernando County School District has missed out on roughly $2.2 million while impact fees were reduced, then suspended in recent years. Tampa Bay Times.

Early learning: Education experts, senior White House officials, and business and nonprofit leaders from across the country meet in Miami to discuss early learning within the Hispanic community. Miami Herald.

Achievement gap: Pinellas County will roll out a new plan called Bridging the Gap that targets the academic differences between black students and other groups. Tampa Bay Times.

STEM: A Hillsborough County private school opens up a wing with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math. Tampa Bay Times.

Accountability: Polk County Superintendent Kathryn Leroy unveils a metrics system for principals to reach academic objectives at their schools. The Ledger.

Conversion: A Sarasota County elementary school adds middle school grades to help further a sense of community. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Teachers: Duval County teachers complain about large classes, lack of planning time, too much testing and more. Florida Times-Union.

Raises: Pinellas County Schools will provide 5 percent raises to administrators for the 2013-14 school year. Tampa Bay Times.

Scholarships: Miami Dolphins cheerleaders and a former player surprise a Lee County high school student with a $5,000 college scholarship. Fort Myers News-Press.

Evaluations: Hillsborough County’s school board chairwoman marks Superintendent MaryEllen Elia “unsatisfactory” in all nine categories on her annual evaluation. The Tampa Tribune. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

School name: Tomato Tots, Cesar Chavez and Barack Obama are all on the list of potential names the Hillsborough County School Board could choose for its new elementary school in Ruskin. Tampa Bay Times.

School posts: After more than nine months and four searches, the Hernando County School District has named a chief financial officer to oversee the district’s budget of roughly $262 million. Tampa Bay Times.

Conduct: A jury finds a former award-winning Hillsborough County elementary school teacher guilty of molesting a student. 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.