Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Civil rights coalition urges U.S. Education secretary DeVos to reject Florida’s accountability plan

When it appeared that Florida would seek waivers from key federal rules governing education accountability, a group of 17 civil rights organizations urged Commissioner Pam Stewart to reconsider.

Stewart didn't seek the waivers in the state's Every Student Succeeds Act plan, submitted in September. Instead, she simply included the language from each within the state proposal, as if no special permission to work around the requirements were needed.

So now the same coalition on Thursday asked U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to halt the Florida plan, which among other things would not provide state tests in any languages but English.

"Despite the valid concerns of the Florida stakeholders, the state did not reverse course on the majority of the problematic policies it proposed. Instead, the state decided to simply submit a plan which, by its earlier admission in the waiver application, does not meet the requirements of the law," the group wrote.

"Florida's plan must be rejected on both accounts: failing to serve the interests of marginalized students in the state, and failing to comply with the requirements of the law."

Read the full letter here. DeVos has not indicated when she will act on Florida's plan.

Comments
U.S. Rep. Bilirakis calls added resource officers for Pasco schools a “no brainer”

U.S. Rep. Bilirakis calls added resource officers for Pasco schools a “no brainer”

With Congressional committee meetings a week off, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis turned to the Pasco County School Board on Tuesday for some advice on improving school safety."I want to take your ideas, your suggestions to Washington with me," said Biliraki...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Parkland shooting weighs heavy on Florida education debate, influencing major school choice package HB 7055

Parkland shooting weighs heavy on Florida education debate, influencing major school choice package HB 7055

The Florida Senate Education Committee unanimously passed the House's mega school choice package bill on Tuesday, but not before it made some major changes influenced by the Parkland shooting that left 17 people dead less than one week ago.The shooti...
Updated: 7 hours ago
“External operator” is on deck to help seven troubled Hillsborough schools if they need it.

“External operator” is on deck to help seven troubled Hillsborough schools if they need it.

An Indiana-based nonprofit organization that operates charter schools has been tapped as the "external operator" that Hillsborough County might bring in to work with seven struggling schools. Phalen Leadership Academies was chosen in a competitive bi...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Wharton High gets an outside look to address school culture that is “broken”

Wharton High gets an outside look to address school culture that is “broken”

A team of Hillsborough County School District specialists is spending the next two weeks at Wharton High School in what officials say is a multi-step effort to get control over behavior and restore confidence at the large suburban high school.Respond...
Updated: 10 hours ago
School board member wants board to support ban on assault weapons

School board member wants board to support ban on assault weapons

Veteran School Board member Linda Lerner wants Pinellas County to be the first board to take an official board stance supporting a ban on assault weapons.The request came at a board workshop Tuesday almost a week after a former student killed 17...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Officials continue to investigate leads in Pasco assistant principal child pornography case

Officials continue to investigate leads in Pasco assistant principal child pornography case

Law enforcement continues to look into "additional concerns" related to Kyle Ritsema, the Cypress Creek Middle-High assistant principal recently arrested on charges of creating and distributing child pornography, Pasco County school district off...
Updated: 11 hours ago
A south county Ridgecrest Elementary? Midtown Academy could become gifted, K-5 school

A south county Ridgecrest Elementary? Midtown Academy could become gifted, K-5 school

Midtown Academy was a rescue mission that never really took off.Even after the Kindergarten through eighth grade school was converted from the failed University Preparatory Academy charter school into a district-run choice school two weeks befor...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Under a potential USF consolidation, what could help appease St. Petersburg skeptics?

Under a potential USF consolidation, what could help appease St. Petersburg skeptics?

The massive higher education bill that would potentially consolidate the University of South Florida System has been put on the back burner as legislators in Tallahassee grapple with responses to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman D...
Published: 02/20/18
Largo High group to host active shooter preparedness event

Largo High group to host active shooter preparedness event

The event was planned two months before a former student opened fire on a Broward County high school, killing 17 and injuring more.The Parent Teacher Student Association at Largo High will hold its first active shooter preparedness event to...
Published: 02/20/18
Florida education news: #HB7055, school safety, turnarounds and more

Florida education news: #HB7055, school safety, turnarounds and more

#HB7055: Today the Florida Senate takes up the House's priority education omnibus bill, which includes a wide range of issues from expanded tax credit scholarships to state testing changes. Committee chair Sen. Dorothy Hukill has filed a strike-...
Published: 02/20/18