Numbers games: An investigation into a Hillsborough County public school principal reveals she played all sorts of numbers games to boost school grades and graduation rates from changing student enrollment and withdrawal statuses to delaying enrollment, counseling students out, and denying admissions to a student who had been arrested in the prior year. Tampa Bay Times.
Lack of oversight: Milton High School administrators are in trouble after an investigation reveals a lack of oversight resulted in coaches being paid to coach teams that didn’t exist and more. Pensacola News Journal.
Fake class: The Mainland High School principal accused of giving students fake AP tests also administered a fake class to nine athletes at her school and hired teachers and school counselors without state certifications. Daytona Beach News Journal.
Following the rules: Politics governs public education, and for now politicians are requiring public schools to follow a host of instructional rules including requiring students to learn and understand important U.S. symbols, African American history and the holocaust. The FLDOE hosted a workshop on the requirements that lasted just 11 minutes. Tampa Bay Times.
LGBTQ not so friendly: A Duval County public school teacher refuses to call a female transgender student by her requested pronouns and tells the student to switch classes if she’s unhappy. Miami Herald, First Coast News.
Teacher arrests: A middle school teacher had his licensed revoked after his arrest for propositioning a 14-year old student. Palm Beach Post.
Student arrests: A 15-year old Jacksonville student got out of a stolen Jeep and pointed a gun at a stopped school bus to demand repayment of $20. The student is now behind bars. Florida Times-Union.
Murder trial: A released video shows the last time public school teacher Kameela Russel was seen alive. The video shows her exiting her car at the house of her longtime friend and fellow educator Ernest Roberts. Roberts has been charged with her murder. Bradenton Herald.
Revoke charters: Students are more likely to be killed riding a bicycle than in a school shooting, nevertheless the Parkland shooting spurred Florida Legislators to pass a law requiring schools to have armed guards. Now a commission on school safety formed after the shooting is recommending districts revoke the charters of schools without armed guards. The Broward County superintendent remains unsure if he’s allowed to do so under the law. Tampa Bay Times, Politico.
Undue influence: Senior staffers to the mayor of Jacksonville may be placing undue influence on a city-funded nonprofit intended to fund grants for churches and other nonprofits that create programs to help keep kids out of jail and away from violent crime. A memo from the CEO of Kids Hope Alliance alleges that senior officials in the mayor’s office were pressuring him to steer grants to preferred recipients. Florida Times-Union.
Student safety: Ft Lauderdale police issued 65 tickets to drivers blazing through school zones at unsafe speeds. Sun Sentinel. Big Brother is watching. State officials are monitoring student’s on social media. WFTS.
Student threats: He got out of jail in June for making violent threats while a senior at his high school, now he’s back in jail after threatening to shoot up a school again. Gainesville Sun.
Naming rights: Palm Beach County schools are looking to make some dough. If you’ve dreamed of having a school stadium named after you, Palm Beach will take a cool $150,000 off your hands. Palm Beach Post.
Charter fight continues: The former board of a Manatee County charter school that has been taken over by the local school district alleges retaliatory behavior. The school district denies the allegations. Sarasota Herald Tribune.
First day of school: Brevard Catholic Schools kick off the new school year with a prayer. Florida Today.
Bus accidents: An Escambia County school bus crashed into a Nissan yesterday. No one was injured. Pensacola News Journal. A Manatee County student was struck by a car while waiting for a school bus. The student was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Bradenton Herald.
Administrative buildings: Marion County School Board is looking into a new land deal to build a new administrative building for the school district. Ocala Star Banner.
School dedication: Cypress Ridge Elementary School dedicates its cafeteria to the school’s founding principal and later school board member. Citrus County Chronicle.
Reading list: What is on Education Commissioner Corcoran’s reading list? News Service of Florida.
Opinions on schools: To protect kids, the Florida legislature should pass a law requiring school districts to have camera’s on school buses in order to capture cars passing stopped buses illegally. Orlando Sentinel. Charter school opponents make it seem like the sky is falling on public schools but a Bellwether report shows public schools maintaining their enrollment overall. And in Florida, school districts maintain top position as schools of choice with several programs including Magnet schools, career academies and open enrollment. Matthew Ladner, redefinED.