TAMPA — How hard is it for the Hillsborough County School District to report Advanced Placement test results?
Easy enough for the whole district. And easy enough for Hispanic students.
But when it came to African American students, district officials tied themselves in knots this week, first broadcasting results that they spun to highlight a two-year improvement, and then walking it back after they realized they were mistaken....
The Hillsborough County School District on Friday released a plan that outlines the ways it will communicate changes as it implements some of the Gibson Consulting Group's cost-cutting recommendations....
School advisory councils will no longer get money from the Hillsborough County School District, members are now learning.
SAC's, as they are called, are support groups made up of the school's principal, staff, parents and community members. They have an important role in drafting the school improvement plans that are forwarded to the state. They also vote on how to spend bonus money. ...
A reader asks: Just how many nonclassroom teachers are being eyed to fill teaching vacancies as cost-cutting continues in the Hillsborough County Schools?
We're waiting for more details, but some information is available in the district's payroll records.
We counted well over 1,000 such jobs in a spreadsheet compiled on Sept. 13, and the group has already shrunk since the 2015-16 school year (for example, the peer evaluator position no longer exists.)...
At our request, the Hillsborough County School District provided us with two emails that were sent out to employees this week that shed more light on the hiring freeze and the plan to fill teacher vacancies with educators who are not now in the classroom.
The second of the two emails confirns that success coaches -- tasked since late 2014 with working closely with at-risk students in high school and middle school -- will be affected by this move. The success program was considered a key component in the district's plan to even out racial disparities and reach a 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020....
Carol Kurdell held the District 7 seat for more than 20 years. She'll step down in November, and two candidates emerged out of a field of eight to compete in the November runoff. Lynn Gray has decades of classroom experience. Cathy James has an equal number of years in accounting, and believes that's what is needed as the school district contends with a financial crisis.
About the job: School Board members, elected on a nonpartisan basis, are paid $42,000 a year for interacting with constituents and overseeing the eighth-largest school district in the United States, with a yearly budget of $2.8 billion. They meet about four times a month. District 7 is countywide....
Doretha Edgecomb's departure leaves a void in the central Tampa district that includes some of the county's poorest neighborhoods. Both Joe Jordon-Robinson and Tamara Shamburger come to the race with business experience and an understanding of what it is like to raise children in an urban environment. As the school district continues to work its way out of federal discrimination investigation, both candidates promise to be voices for the district's under-served children. ...
TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District froze teacher hiring Tuesday, the same day superintendent Jeff Eakins took to YouTube to reassure the public that he is putting students first in all cost-cutting measures.
"Parents, you trust us to educate your children," Eakins said in the video, appearing next to chief of staff Alberto Vazquez. "That is a decision that you do not take lightly, and it is something that is at the forefront of our minds each and every day."...
School Board members in Hillsborough County will get a full report this morning from a consultant who is trying to help them save money and protect their reserve account.
The Gibson Consulting Group, according to its report, will tell board members that in some areas, they are using "best practices" in the way they hire teachers and plan for the future....
TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District should not be released from an ongoing federal investigation into alleged racial disparities in teaching and discipline, a civil rights activist says.
In a letter that takes issue with the school district's view of how black students are doing, retired educator Marilyn Williams says Hillsborough has not proven it is on a path to provide equity. Williams, who filed a discrimination complaint in 2014 with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, sent her rebuttal to the agency earlier this month....
To the surprise of no one, Stowers Elementary School in FishHawk Ranch is still crowded.
An attendance boundary change, approved as a compromise after parent groups disagreed about which children should move and which should stay, sent 98 students to Bevis and 59 to Pinecrest elementary schools.
The expectation was that Stowers would continue to operate at 101 to 115 percent of capacity....
TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District is neglecting its buildings, wasting money by failing to use modern technology for payroll and purchasing, and making inefficient use of its school buses, according to a new report on the district's finances.
The report says things are so bad in the facilities department that most school buildings are in poor shape and the district will need to spend more than $100 million a year just to keep them from getting worse. ...
TAMPA — If your child attends Potter Elementary School, the odds are about 1 in 2 that his teacher is in her first year on the job in Hillsborough County.
If your child goes to Westchase Elementary, those odds shrink to 3 in 100.
Potter, in East Tampa, is 89 percent black and has had an F every year since 2013.
Westchase, in the northwest suburbs, is 3 percent black and has had an A since 2000....
TAMPA — What does a public school air-conditioning crisis look like?
It's 5-year-old Adrian Kirby at Deer Park Elementary, cheeks flushed, hair matted, beads of sweat forming as he tries to concentrate on sight words.
It's his fellow kindergarteners raising their hands, because they need to go to the bathroom, because they've been guzzling water all day.
What does it smell like?...
Cathy James and Tamara Shamburger got the coveted endorsements from the Hillsborough County Teachers Association for the upcoming School Board elections.