Florida schools roundup: Vouchers, Rick Scott, Teach for America & more

Tax credit scholarships. Expansion of the program (administered by Step Up For Students, which co-hosts this blog) is one of 10 “issues to watch” during the upcoming legislative session. News Service of Florida. It’s also a potential land mine for Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election campaign, the News Service writes. House Speaker Will Weatherford, a leading supporter of program expansion, tells the Tampa Bay Times editorial board it’s a way to help the poor. Gradebook. The Fayetteville Observer in N.C. editorializes that N.C. would be wise to follow Florida’s model.

florida-roundup-logoCharter schools. Gov. Rick Scott or someone in his office suggested that MacDill Air Force Base go to Charter Schools USA, whose CEO Jon Hage is a Scott supporter, if it wanted a charter school. Tampa Bay Times. The Times editorializes that the state Board of Education should deny the proposed charter school’s appeal because “that would be best for military families, local control and the integrity of the charter school process.”

Florida Virtual School. Former Orange Superintendent Ron Blocker will be interim leader while the board searches for a replacement for Julie Young. School Zone.

Common Core. Opponents are hopeful now that there are bill in both the Senate and House to stop it. Gradebook. More from School Zone.

Regulatory accountability. A bill filed by Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee (and head of the state superintendents association) seeks to ease the state into a new standards, testing and accountability system, including a three-year pause for school grades. The Buzz. More from The Florida Current, the Palm Beach Post and Extra Credit. A Senate Education Committee bill, meanwhile, would tweak school grades. Gradebook.

Teacher quality.Value-added scores for Florida teachers look “messy and absurd.” Hechinger Report. The Gates Foundation didn’t want them released. Answer Sheet.

Teacher conduct. A Sarasota County teacher is recommended for firing after talking in class about his sex life. Sarasota Herald Tribune. Bond is increased for a former Marion charter school teacher accused of having sex with teenage girls. Ocala Star Banner.

Teach For America. Could be coming to Orange County. Orlando Sentinel.

Principals. A tribute to a great one. EdFly Blog.

School spending. Blue-collar workers in the Palm Beach County School District will get a 4 percent raise under a tentative proposal. Palm Beach Post. More potential cuts in Brevard. Florida Today.

School safety. State Rep. Larry Metz wants safer walking routes to school. Orlando Sentinel.