Florida schools roundup: Duval investigation, achievement and more

IMG_0001.JPGDuval schools investigated: Do black and Hispanic students in Duval County have equal access to a quality education? That’s what the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating, according to a letter the department sent to U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville. Florida Times-Union. The local NAACP office is offering alternatives to the school changes School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti has proposed. Florida Times-Union.

Achievement by gender: A study of a million Florida children born between 1992 and 2002 who attended public schools shows that boys overwhelmingly fall behind girls in learning at an early age and never catch up, and the gap widens significantly when race and socioeconomic status are considered. Washington Post.

Testing costs: Hillsborough County’s school district spent about $2.2 million on testing expenses in 2014-2015, according to a recent report by the Council of the Great City Schools. That’s about one-tenth of 1 percent of the district’s $2.2 billion annual budget. Philadelphia Public Schools Notebook.

Stadium deal: David Beckham’s proposed deal with the Miami-Dade School Board to build a $200 million Major League Soccer stadium in Little Havana is on hold. Team officials say owners of some of the properties where the stadium would be built are asking too much for their land. Most of the land, next to Marlins Park baseball stadium, is owned by the city, which agreed to transfer ownership to the school board to shelter the team from property taxes. Miami Herald.

Ruling questioned:  Two Broward County School Board members say the system’s inspector general overstepped his authority when he ruled that Spanish River High improperly removed a student from the academy after she was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning on a school field trip. Sun-Sentinel.

Restorative justice: About 4,000 students will participate in the “restorative justice” program at Duval County schools this year. The programs offer peer counseling to support students but also hold them accountable for their actions. Florida Times-Union.

Opinions on schools: A proposed bill to intensify steps aimed at improving reading has elements that are already being used in Manatee and Sarasota counties through the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading program. Bradenton Herald.

Student enrichment: Merritt Island High School’s HERO club educates other students on the dangers of bullying. Florida Today.  Five Florida schools are state finalists for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest, a competition in which students try to solve community problems using science, technology, engineering and math. Tampa Bay Newspapers. Students from four Miami area schools are honored for showing kindness and being a role model. Miami Herald. Two Melbourne High School brothers are chosen to march in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Florida Today.