Florida education news: graduation rates, teacher discipline, bonus pay and more
DIRECTION UNKNOWN: Pasco superintendent Heather Fiorentino invokes the need to go in a different direction as she removes some high-level administrators. School Board members want to know what that direction is. The Times, meanwhile, editorializes that Fiorentino's firing of Ray Gadd was a bad move for the public good.
DEFINING GRADUATION: Hernando high schools graduated 50 percent - or 74 percent - of seniors in 2006, depending on the definition you use.
NOT A FIRING OFFENSE: A state administrative law judge recommends putting Pasco teacher Patti Withers on probation, but not firing her, for her 2006 in-school suicide attempt.
FLORIDA NEEDS THE FCAT? Otherwise, Florida will fall back to the time when kids graduate high school with report cards littered with D's, Sun-Sentinel columnist Antonio Fins writes. • A Broward student disagrees, calling the test a waste of money. Her public comments spark Gov. Charlie Crist to speak out for the exam, WPLG-10 reports.
LABOR NEWS: Lee teachers and support staff approve a new contract, the Naples Daily News reports.
THANKS, BUT NO: Florida Gulf Coast University president Wilson Bradshaw turns down a raise and a bonus, citing his inability to give more money to other employees, the Naples Daily News reports. (Is FAMU's James Ammons watching?)
FOLLOW THE LAW: Florida Atlantic University takes steps to ensure that professors make the most affordable textbooks available to students, the Palm Beach Post reports.
EXTRA TAXES: Indian River looks into raising its local tax rate by 0.25 mills, the Vero Beach Press-Journal reports.
CUTTING TEACHERS: Are schools using budget cuts as an excuse to get rid of teachers with performance issues? Port St. Lucie Tribune columnist Anthony Westbury examines such contentions in St. Lucie.
SHE CAN STAY: The St. Lucie teacher who allowed her kindergarten class to vote a child with autism "off the island," is allowed to keep her job, the Port St. Lucie Tribune reports.
CIVIL RIGHTS INVESTIGATION: The feds are looking into whether Orange promoted segregation with its decision to move a high school out of its predominantly black neighborhood, the Orlando Sentinel reports.