Florida schools roundup: Hispanics’ literacy, evaluation errors and more

florida-roundup-logoLatinos and literacy: Miami-Dade is the top-performing school district in the nation in reading proficiency by Hispanic students, according to a report by Child Trends, a research nonprofit in Maryland. The survey compared Hispanic fourth- and eighth-graders in 21 urban school districts by scores on National Assessment of Educational Progress testing. Duval County was second in both groups, and Hillsborough County was third among fourth-graders. Florida’s fourth-graders led all other states in reading achievement, and the state’s eighth-graders were eighth. Miami Herald.

Evaluation errors: Evaluation reports for 642 Pasco County teachers were incorrectly rounded. “Of these 642 teachers, roughly 50 teachers will receive a higher overall summative rating (example – highly effective as opposed to effective),” assistant superintendent Kevin Shibley wrote in a memo. “District staff is in the process of generating corrected summative forms for the impacted teachers.” Gradebook.

Diddy’s charter school: Rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs is opening a free public charter school in Harlem for grades 6-12. Danita Jones, an Orlando educator, will be the principal of the Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School. Jones helped run the Human Experience charter middle school in Orlando. Associated Press. Rolling Stone. Hip Hop DX. Music-News.

Testing pressure: Parents say the emphasis on standardized testing puts too much pressure on students and teachers, and they worry about what effect that might have. They spoke at a community meeting in Lakeland. Lakeland Ledger. Marion County school officials say the computers for standardized testing are ready to go. The bulk of the testing begins the week of April 11. Ocala Star Banner.

Recess petition: Miami-Dade parents start a petition drive demanding 20 minutes of recess time a day in elementary and pre-K schools. Miami Herald.

Reapplying for jobs: Thirteen top Hillsborough County school administrators have to reapply for their jobs. Superintendent Jeff Eakins says he wants to be sure they have the proper qualifications. Eakins also says he’s taking a structural reorganization plan to the school board April 12. Tampa Bay Times.

School uniforms: The Volusia County School Board is expected to vote today on a school uniforms policy. The board also will decide whether to loosen a policy that requires athletes to pass all their classes to be eligible for sports. Daytona Beach News-Journal.

District growth: Pasco County school officials project that the district will add 1,311 students for the 2016-2017 school year. That would put the total of 66,042. Gradebook.

Contract negotiations: The impasse between the Broward County School District and its teachers will be heard by a special magistrate Wednesday. Teachers say the district is refusing to give them the 2.5 percent increase other district employees got. The district says it’s offered as much as it can. Sun-Sentinel.

Coach disciplined: The former football coach at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek has been disciplined by the state for trying to hire a student to take a college admissions test for a star player. Calvin Davis, who stepped down from the coaching job in February but still teaches world history at the school, was fined $1,500, reprimanded and ordered to take a class on ethics. Sun-Sentinel.

New school site: The favored site for a new high school in Bonita Springs was a dump site for waste that contained asbestos about 10 years ago. School officials say the site has been cleaned and is free of asbestos. Naples Daily News.

Counseling offered: Counselors were available Monday at Gainesville High School for students who needed to talk about the death of sophomore Robert Dentmond over spring break. Dentmond, 16, was killed by police after calling 911 to say he had a gun and might kill himself. Gainesville Sun.

Opinions on schools: It’s up to parents and grandparents of students to take a stand against standardized testing by opting out. Sally Butzin, Tallahassee Democrat. The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s goal is to give young children the tools they need to succeed in school and in life. Kathy Silverberg, Sarasota Herald-Tribune. If Gov. Rick Scott wanted to cut something bad from the state budget, he could have vetoed the $49 million set aside for the teacher bonuses plan. Ocala Star Banner.

Student enrichment: Fifty-six Lee County students and chaperones board a bus for a five-day tour of colleges and civil rights landmarks. Fort Myers News-Press. Sarasota’s Tuttle Elementary Schools opens its first reading recovery rooms to give one-on-one help to students who are reading below grade level. The new rooms are part of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading campaign. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.