Florida education news: Testing, graduation, school choice and more

Caitlin Fruit (left, foot pictured), Allison Hayduke and Samantha Keim sport their new white Crocs on Wednesday during speeches before the presentation of diplomas at Seminole High School's commencement ceremony at Tropicana Field. They were among several graduating seniors who wore white Crocs donated by the Crocs company. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Caitlin Fruit (left, foot pictured), Allison Hayduke and Samantha Keim sport their new white Crocs on Wednesday during speeches before the presentation of diplomas at Seminole High School's commencement ceremony at Tropicana Field. They were among several graduating seniors who wore white Crocs donated by the Crocs company. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published May 17

TEST SCORES: After a year of review and discussion, the Florida Board of Education adopts new, higher passing scores that can replace students' Algebra I and 10th-grade language arts graduation requirements. The board agreed to add the PSAT as an additional low-cost option to replace the PERT, which it deleted as an alternate to the state Algebra exam. Some students and educators urged the board not to increase the standard, which will apply to students entering high school beginning in August. But the board was not interested in decreasing standards. More from News Service of Florida.

GRADUATION DAY: Worried that heels would sink into Tropicana Field's turf, a Seminole High senior and her friends decided Crocs would be a good choice to wear at commencement. She appealed to the shoe company, which donated 124 pairs. • Graduations are under way in the Tampa Bay area, and will continue through early June.

SCHOOL CHOICE: The Pasco County school district offers a second round of  open enrollment application.

236 DAYS: Florida education commissioner Pam Stewart says her official last day in office will coincide with Gov. Rick Scott's final day.

SICK SCHOOL: Pasco County's Hudson Elementary School is hit hard by a stomach virus that keeps home more than 100 students, WTSP reports.

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH: The Duval County School Board conducts the first of three superintendent finalist interviews, the Florida Times-Union reports.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: The Florida Education Association endorses outgoing state Rep. Janet Cruz in her bid to unseat Tampa state Sen. Dana Young, Florida Politics reports.

DROWNED RACCOONS: Marion County superintendent Heidi Maier recommends firing a high school agriculture teacher who drowned two raccoons during class, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. The teacher's former students have come to his defense, the Star-Banner reports.

LABOR NEWS: Volusia County teacher contract talks stall over salary, dress code and workload, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

CAREER TRAINING: A construction academy at Bartow High has proven so successful that the Polk County school district plans to replicate it at four other sites, the Ledger reports.

NO DIPLOMAS: Miami-Dade County schools have steered many immigrant teens into adult education programs, where they do not take standardized tests that count in state accountability programs, the Miami Herald reports.

CLEARED: A Broward County teacher is cleared of calling a conservative student the "next Hitler" as investigators find no corroborating evidence, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

RENOVATIONS: A Leon County high school makes plans for a complete campus overhaul, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: Florida charter school enrollment rises to almost 296,000 students, Redefined reports.

BAD ACTS: A Duval County substitute bus driver is fired amid allegations of inappropriate contact with students, WJXT reports.

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