Monday, November 12, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Oct. 28, 2018

To some families, it’s a poorly kept secret that black children are disproportionately disciplined in the public schools. When Hernando County school district officials saw the data, they looked for ways to make discipline more fair. Their pilot project appears to be working.  Read on for that and more news. • Don’t miss our weekly highlights of the news, views, reports and more. You can keep up daily with our conversation on Facebook, hear our podcast, and follow our blog to get all the latest Florida education news. All tips, comments and ideas welcome. Know anyone else who’d like to get this weekly roundup or other email updates? Have them send a note to [email protected].

Top of the Times

Hernando schools suspend black kids far more often than white ones. Now the district is trying to close its disciplinary gap., Jack Evans
“About a year ago, Cynthia Brown Jackson, the lead social worker for the Hernando County School District, met with focus groups of teachers and parents to explain some bleak statistics: The district’s black students were disciplined far more often than their white peers.”

Losing enrollment, Pasco County’s Lacoochee Elementary School could be shut down, Jeffrey S. Solochek
“The Pasco County school system appears ready to end its years-long effort to turn around Lacoochee Elementary, a chronically low-performing school that made headlines as it struggled despite keen attention from state officials and repeated infusions of federal money.”

USF trustees give praise — and a $210,000 bonus — to outgoing president Judy Genshaft, Megan Reeves
“During her tenure at USF, Genshaft has become one of the highest-paid university presidents in the nation. She collected nearly $1.2 million in pay bonuses and other benefits in 2016-17, ranking seventh for pay in the country, according to data compiled by The Chronicle of Higher Education.”

Visit tampabay.com for more education news from the Times staff.

Around the State

In America’s Science Classrooms, the Creep of Climate Skepticism, Undark, Sean Patrick Cooper
“With the ascension of the [Florida Citizens’] Alliance, the Sunshine State has become ground zero for an intensifying ideological battle taking place across the nation — one that has conservative groups wrestling for control over how climate science will be taught to American students.”

Florida teacher pay ranks among lowest in the U.S. This is how Miami teachers get by., Miami Herald, Colleen Wright
“The [Miami-Dade] district is hoping voters will adopt a four-year plan to raise property taxes to increase teacher pay. The referendum, marketed as Secure Our Future, is projected to net $232 million by next July — and $200 million is expected to boost the salaries of 20,000 teachers. But the referendum must overcome the disillusionment of the teachers it’s supposed to help.”

Sarasota transgender guidelines continue to stir conversation, Herald-Tribune, Elizabeth Djinis
“New Sarasota County School District guidelines for transgender students are off to a turbulent start, after a critical email from a Sarasota resident to Superintendent Todd Bowden led to his being questioned by two school police officers at his home, and the School Board chairwoman’s request to change a provision that does not require schools to notify parents if a child has decided to come out as trans.”

With school start looming, Bay District Schools helps house employees left homeless by Hurricane Michael, Panama City News Herald, Eryn Dion
“‘This storm didn’t discriminate,’ said [Bay district communication director] Sharon Michalik. ‘All of our employees have been impacted by this and all of our employees are mission critical.’ Recognizing that need, Michalik has begun a sort of matchmaking service, if you will, taking district employees who need homes and matching them with other district employees, or friends or even neighbors, who are willing to take them in.”

Other Views

What Andrew Gillum Really Thinks about School Choice, Sunshine State News guest column, Lane Wright of Education Post
“If you care about school choice in Florida, watch out for Andrew Gillum.”

When schools pay the sheriff with your tax dollars, what’s ‘fair’?, TC Palm columnist Gil Smart
“And isn’t this all a bit ridiculous, for the school district and Sheriff’s Office to engage in a tug-of-war over dollars? After all, at the end of the day, they all come from the same place — your wallet. When one public agency does business with another, what’s a ‘fair’ price? And ultimately, are we talking about what’s ‘fair’ to the agencies themselves — or taxpayers?”

The United States lags developed nations in paying teachers, Florida Times-Union editorial
“Americans realize this. In a September poll, 60 percent think teachers are underpaid. Is sexism at work? Teaching has long been considered a female-dominated profession. Yet registered nurses make far more than teachers — $73,550 compared to $58,950.”

Reports of Note

The Effects of Regulations on Private School Choice Program Participation: Experimental Evidence from Florida, University of Arkansas College of Education & Health Professions
“We find that regulations that would prevent private schools from being selective in their admissions practices as a result of open-enrollment requirements, and regulations requiring private schools to administer official state standardized tests to their students, significantly reduce the likelihood that private school leaders will elect to have their school participate in a given voucher program.”

Examining the myth of accountability, high-stakes testing and the achievement gap, Journal of Family Strengths
“The practice of spending large amounts of time on test preparation and test taking must be reversed lest we continue on the path of maintaining schools solely as machinery for stratification. The foundation of high-stakes testing in the United States clearly has roots connecting the practice of sorting with the eugenics movement, which sought to ‘prove’ through testing the existence of a racial hierarchy of intelligence.”

Coming Up

Nov. 6: General election

Nov. 7-8: Florida Board of Governors, Florida Atlantic University

Nov. 8: Citizens for Strong Schools vs. Florida Board of Education, Florida Supreme Court oral arguments, 9 a.m.

Week of Dec. 11: Legislative committee meetings

Jan. 16, 2019: Florida Board of Education

Gradebook: The Podcast

We’re podcasting, with newsmaker interviews and chats about the latest issues to crop up. Please take a listen, and send any thoughts, tips and ideas to [email protected]

The latest: Why ‘vouchers’? A discussion about Florida’s tax credit scholarship program.

Subscribe to the podcast and review it on iTunes or Google Play. You also can find our past episodes on Art19.

Comments
Hudson Elementary staff, families hope to halt proposal to close school

Hudson Elementary staff, families hope to halt proposal to close school

The Pasco County superintendent has recommended shutting down the campus in 2021.
Updated: 9 hours ago
Florida education news: School funding, board members, student testing and more

Florida education news: School funding, board members, student testing and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
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Florida voters are saying yes when school districts ask for more money. Is that a good thing?

Florida voters are saying yes when school districts ask for more money. Is that a good thing?

Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins takes a clear message from last week's election, which saw many Floridians vote to tax themselves more to help public schools meet rising costs.People see the challenges firsthand and "they know t...
Published: 11/12/18
Linda Lerner steps away after 28 years on the Pinellas School Board. ‘I wanted to make things better for everybody’

Linda Lerner steps away after 28 years on the Pinellas School Board. ‘I wanted to make things better for everybody’

Linda Lerner, one of Florida's longest-serving school officials with nearly three decades on the Pinellas County School Board, will step down Tuesday, leaving her seat for one of three new members elected last week.The decision was difficult, Lerner ...
Published: 11/12/18
ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Nov. 5, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Nov. 5, 2018

Can Florida’s courts determine what a “high quality” education system looks like? Or is that too subjective a term? The Florida Supreme Court has that question before it, as it determines whether a 9-year-old school funding adequacy...
Published: 11/10/18
President of Ybor City’s Hillsborough Community College campus will step down, return to teaching

President of Ybor City’s Hillsborough Community College campus will step down, return to teaching

Shawn Robinson, president of Hillsborough Community College's Ybor City campus since 2007, is stepping down to return to teaching.In an email announcing the news Friday, Robinson said "it is time for a change." He will relocate to the college's Brand...
Published: 11/09/18
How did all those Florida school board races turn out?

How did all those Florida school board races turn out?

Twenty-seven percent of incumbents either resigned or lost.
Published: 11/09/18
New Florida House education leader named

New Florida House education leader named

Mount Dora Republican Rep. Jennifer Sullivan is a vocal backer of school choice programs.
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Florida education news: Funding lawsuit, school names, missing money and more

Florida education news: Funding lawsuit, school names, missing money and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Published: 11/09/18
Hillsborough County School District will consider renaming Lee Elementary

Hillsborough County School District will consider renaming Lee Elementary

Tampa, let's name that school.With the Hillsborough County School Board committed to rebuilding fire-ravaged Lee Elementary, the time has come to decide what to call it.Students, parents and teachers call the place "Lee." But the full name on the red...
Published: 11/08/18
Updated: 11/09/18