Florida education news: Teacher evaluations, school visits, recess and more
VAM: For nearly six years, Florida has increasingly relied upon a "value-added model" to help evaluate its teachers. The idea was to use student data to determine whether teachers made a difference in student performance. And now, the much debated and denigrated formula appears on its way out. Using new authority from the Legislature, the Citrus County School Board became the first in the state to stop using VAM, citing its unfairness and opaqueness. That decision is expected to prompt other boards to action.
OPEN DOOR POLICY: A Florida lawmaker files legislation to allow Florida lawmakers unrestricted access to public schools in their legislative districts. "Let them come. It isn't worth a fight nor is there anything to hide," Orange County School Board member Christine Moore reacted on Twitter.
PLAY TIME: The Pinellas County school district revises its guidance to school on daily recess, stressing the 20 minutes is for free time but then adding several suggestions for how to use the time. • The recess requirement is causing planning problems for some Treasure Coast elementary schools, TC Palm reports. Eleven Martin County elementary schools will start 10 minutes earlier to make time for the mandate, TC Palm reports.
#HB7069 CHALLENGE: Without debate, the Palm Beach County School Board agrees to join a growing group planning to sue the Legislature over HB 7069, the Palm Beach Post reports. The Miami-Dade School Board votes 8-1 to join the suit, as well, the Miami Herald reports. "We've got to have the courage to do what is right," said board member Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall.
STUDENT DISCIPLINE: Brevard County schools launches a new discipline plan, Florida Today reports.
SCHOOL SAFETY: Florida's school district leaders seek to reduce the number of weapons on their campuses, CBS 12 reports. • The Volusia County sheriff reminds drivers to pay closer attention while driving as students return to school, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.
TOTAL ECLIPSE: Reversing past instructions, the Palm Beach County school district will allow students to go outside and observe the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, the Palm Beach Post reports.
DRIVERS NEEDED: The Manatee County school district has a bus driver shortage, the Bradenton Herald reports.
FEELING IT: Two Leon County moms make a popular music video celebrating their children's return to school, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
BACK TO SCHOOL: Hillsborough and Pinellas county students return to school today. Follow the latest news, sights and sounds on this live blog. Have something to share. Use the tag #tbtbacktoschool.