Today's education news: Exam exemptions, truancy, school reforms and more
SUCCESSFUL SOLUTIONS: By the demographics, Schrader Elementary in Pasco might not seem the most likely school to do well year after year. But through innovation and collaboration, the teachers there find a way to get their students to achieve. (Times photo, Brendan Fitterer)
RETHINKING EXAM EXEMPTIONS: Hillsborough has complicated rules that allow high school students to skip some finals if they don't miss classes. The School Board plans to review the policy this spring.
BAD TEACHER ALERT: Azalea Middle teacher Christy Lynn Martin is arrested and accused of trading nude pictures with an eighth-grade boy at the school.
TACKLING TRUANCY: Duval doesn't know how many truancy cases it has, and its superintendent vows to fix problems with the system, the Florida Times-Union reports.
ENGINEERING? NO THANKS: Despite efforts to lure more girls into the field, schools are seeing a decrease in female engineering students, the Palm Beach Post reports.
FIGHTING FAILURE: Miami Central High has received an F grade from the state for five years. The Miami Herald begins a series of reports on what the school is doing to overcome its past. • Manatee's PAL Academy turns itself around under the threat of being closed down, the Bradenton Herald reports.
STIMULUS NEWS: Florida can secure stabilization funds if if the state proves education spending has not dropped more rapidly than the total state budget, the Palm Beach Post has reports. See the USDOE's press release. • Miami-Dade and Broward might not qualify for the construction funds because their debt loads are already too high, the Miami Herald reports.
ON BEYOND FCAT: Palm Beach high school principals start thinking about what they need to do to maintain their school grades when the state cuts back its emphasis on the FCAT, the Palm Beach Post reports.
SCHOOLS CLOSING? Some Orange residents talk with the Orlando Sentinel about what they'd lose if the district shuts their schools.