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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Let them have choice: Florida Department of Education announces opportunity scholarship schools



The differentiated accountability ratings for Florida's schools aren't due out until the middle of this week.

But for many schools that earned D's and F's, the information is already available. That's because lawmakers changed the rules governing opportunity scholarships for 2011-12, and school districts need to give parents enough time to choose new schools if they wish. D and F schools in the lowest two accountability areas of Intervene and Correct II now fall into the scholarship system.

So the Department of Education has issued a list of 159 schools (attached below) that performed poorly enough to allow families to opt out of them and into more successful ones in the district with transportation, or outside the district without transportation. And districts have until July 25 -- that's a week from today -- to inform parents of their choices.

Locally, the list includes:

Hillsborough - Lennard High, Broward Elementary, Chamberlain High, Sligh Middle, Leto High, Middleton High, Miles Elementary, Oak Park Elementary, Potter Elementary, Riverhills Elementary, Roland Park K-8

Pasco - Marlowe Elementary, Gulf Highlands Elementary, Hudson Elementary, Lacoochee Elementary

Pinellas - Azalea Middle, Dixie M. Hollins High, Fairmount Park Elementary, Gibbs High, Pinellas Park Middle, Sandy Lane Elementary

The district with the most schools on the list is Duval, with 27. Historically, very small percentages of parents have used choice options under No Child Left Behind, also aimed at perpetually low performing schools. It will be interesting to see if Florida's new law generates more interest in these transfers.

[Last modified: Monday, July 18, 2011 5:47pm]


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