Thursday, November 23, 2017

Florida Department of Education reopens “Schools of Hope” applications

RECOMMENDED READING


After picking 11 struggling district schools to receive an added $2,000 per student through the "Schools of Hope" program, the Florida Board of Education announced it would give eligible schools that didn't get a grant another chance to win one.

Lawmakers allocated $51 million to support 25 schools, based on their turnaround plans. Education commissioner Pam Stewart, who recommended 11 of the 59 applicants, said she thought others could learn from the selected submissions and improve their proposals.

She noted that many of the plans were strong, but that the ones she advanced to the board — five in Miami-Dade, three in Palm Beach, two in Bay and one in Seminole — had the highest chance of success.

Each proposal was reviewed by the same evaluators. Many of the ones that were not selected, such as Hillsborough County's Chamberlain High, included similar positive and negative remarks as those that got an award, such as Palm Beach Lakes High.

Most applications, for instance, contained comments that not enough parent and community input was included in creating the plans. Several had at least one reviewer who did not agree with bringing it forward to the State Board.

Now, the department has reopened the application process for schools that were not picked, and also those that are eligible but did not submit a plan in the first round.

"Awards will be provided for up to 14 additional traditional public schools for implementation of evidence-based interventions that lead to student success, which include wrap-around services that leverage community assets, improving school and community collaboration, and family and community partnerships," Chancellor Hershel Lyons wrote in a memo to superintendents.

The deadline is Dec. 1. The department will have a one-hour webinar on the project on Wednesday.

The district "Schools of Hope" program came about as part of HB 7069, which several school districts are challenging in court. The idea emerged as a late offer to mollify critics who did not like the connected proposal of putting millions of dollars into a new charter school system aimed at challenging district schools with lengthy records of poor test results.

Comments
USF adjuncts to rally as new survey reveals poverty among Florida professors

USF adjuncts to rally as new survey reveals poverty among Florida professors

On the heels of a new survey underscoring hunger and poverty among Florida professors, adjunct professors at the University of South Florida will rally next week as part of their push to unionize.The adjunct professors and their s...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17
USF ranked No. 1 public university in the nation for student veterans

USF ranked No. 1 public university in the nation for student veterans

The University of South Florida has once again been recognized by Military Times as one of the best places in the nation for student veterans to get a college education.The publication ranked USF the No. 1 public, four-year university in that regard....
Published: 11/20/17
ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Nov. 12, 2017

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Nov. 12, 2017

In his final budget proposal, Gov. Rick Scott called for more education funding than ever before. He drew criticism from observers who said he's just angling for his next election bid. And he faced a potentially major snag when House leaders said the...
Published: 11/18/17
Gradebook podcast: On “Hope Scholarships,” with sponsor Florida Rep. Byron Donalds

Gradebook podcast: On “Hope Scholarships,” with sponsor Florida Rep. Byron Donalds

Rep. Byron Donalds calls his "Hope Scholarship" proposal an added opportunity for families to find a way out of a school where their child feels threatened. Critics call it an attempt to create more vouchers for Florida, additionally contending it do...
Published: 11/17/17
Florida education news: Start times, employee raises, vouchers and more

Florida education news: Start times, employee raises, vouchers and more

START TIMES: The Pinellas County school district begins looking into whether it can begin high school classes later in the day. Superintendent Mike Grego says it's a "complicated" set of details that might make a switch impossible. A report is due in...
Published: 11/17/17
Pinellas School Board selects chair, vice chair (and discusses high school start times)

Pinellas School Board selects chair, vice chair (and discusses high school start times)

The Pinellas County School Board on Tuesday held its annual organization meeting to select its chair and vice chair for 2018.Board members didn't vote for a shake-up on the board. Peggy O'Shea and Rene Flowers switched roles as chair and vice chair.B...
Published: 11/16/17
Pasco teachers make counter-offer on raises

Pasco teachers make counter-offer on raises

The United School Employees of Pasco reduced its pay request for teachers by $1.2 million during negotiations late Wednesday.But the union remained $2 million apart from the school district's offer, leaving the sides without a deal as they headed tow...
Published: 11/16/17
Florida education news: Teaching, school construction, hurricane days and more

Florida education news: Teaching, school construction, hurricane days and more

UNION DUES: As universities seek to trim costs, they increasingly turn to adjunct professors — part-time workers with no benefits — to find savings. At the University of South Florida, those faculty members are seeking to unionize in...
Published: 11/16/17
Pinellas Outstanding Educator finalists announced

Pinellas Outstanding Educator finalists announced

It's that time of year again: The Pinellas Education Foundation has named 10 finalists for the Pinellas Outstanding Educator award.The finalists, who were selected by a panel of judges out of 126 nominees, learned of their nominations by surprise cla...
Published: 11/15/17
Florida Virtual School teachers seek to unionize

Florida Virtual School teachers seek to unionize

After teaching middle school science at Florida Virtual School for nine years, Lauren Masino says one thing has become clear: FLVS teachers need to organize."The teachers are petrified to support a union, but we need it so badly," Masino told the Gra...
Published: 11/15/17