1. Gradebook

Florida education news: Career education, teacher morale, school social media and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Show here is a screenshot of the new Instagram account for Pinellas County schools.
Published May 21

CAREER EDUCATION: Using rule making, the Florida Department of Education prepares to advance Gov. Ron DeSantis’ workforce education agenda.

OUTTA HERE: A Hillsborough County middle school teacher gains wide attention and varied responses to her published essay on why she’s quitting the profession.

PACKING HEAT: A Pinellas County elementary school teacher who recently was told she would not have her contract renewed is arrested on allegations of carrying a loaded gun and a knife on campus in her backpack. • Four teens are arrested on accusations of trespassing at a Gadsden County high school, including one who allegedly had a loaded gun, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

REACHING OUT: The Pinellas County school district launches an Instagram page to give parents another way to communicate with the district.

R.I.P.: Former Florida State University president Sandy D’Alemberte dies at 85.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: The sheriff of Clay County resigns his position on the governing board of a charter school in St. Johns County, WJAX reports.

BELL SCHEDULES: Using data from north Florida schools, researchers find a one-hour delay in school start times has a positive effect on student academic performance, Education Next reports.

PROM ROYALTY: A Miami-Dade County high school selects a student with Down syndrome as prom queen, WSVN reports.

MORE PBJ: A Volusia County kindergartner begins a peanut butter and jelly collection drive after learning a classmate might go hungry over the summer without help, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

AFTER MICHAEL: Bay County school district officials continue to feel the financial impact of Hurricane Michael, which devastated the area nearly a year ago, the Panama City News Herald reports.

SUSPENDED SUPERINTENDENT: The Florida Senate might not decide the fate of suspended Okaloosa County superintendent Mary Beth Jackson until the fall, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

TESTING TACTIC? A hearing over the treatment of a Sarasota County student raises questions over whether the district allowed the transfer of more than one child with special needs to protect school grades, the Herald-Tribune reports.

CONTRACT TALKS: Representatives of Sarasota County teachers and the school district prepare to resume collective bargaining at a time when their relationship has bottomed out, the Herald-Tribune reports.

BAD ACTS: A Broward County elementary school teacher and aide could lose their jobs over allegations they verbally and physically abused students with autism, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup


  1. Sandra Gero, a regional search associate at Ray and Associates, hosts a meeting at the Middleton High School auditorium and gathers public comments on what people are looking for for the next Hillsborough County School Superintendent on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019 in Tampa. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    Using public meetings and a survey, they’re painting a picture of the ideal school leader.
  2. Jeff Eakins and MaryEllen Elia, Hillsborough's last two superintendents, were hired from inside the school system. So have all others since 1967. Times staff
    Go to the school district website before 8 a.m. Monday to state your case.
  3. Rep. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, urges the Florida Board of Education to hold schools accountable for teaching the Holocaust and African-American history, as required by lawmakers in 1994. The board was considering a rule on the matter at its Sept. 20, 2019, meeting in Jacksonville. The Florida Channel
    School districts will have to report how they are providing the instruction required in Florida law.
  4. The Pasco County school district would rezone the Seven Oaks subdivision from the Wiregrass Ranch High feeder pattern to the Cypress Creek High feeder pattern, beginning in the 2020-21 school year. Pasco County school district
    The Seven Oaks subdivision is the primary target for rezoning.
  5. Fortify Florida is a new app that allows for anonymous reporting of suspected school threats. Florida Department of Education
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  6. Pasco County school superintendent Kurt Browning says Fortify Florida, the new state-sponsored app that allows students to report potential threats, is "disrupting the education day" because the callers are anonymous, many of the tips are vague and there's no opportunity to get more information from tipsters. "I have an obligation to provide kids with a great education," Browning said. "I cannot do it with this tool, because kids are hiding behind Fortify Florida." JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |
    Vague and anonymous tips often waste law enforcement’s time and disrupt the school day, says Kurt Browning, president of Florida’s superintendents association.
  7. Rep. Susan Valdes, D-Tampa, during a Feb. 7, 2019, meeting of the House PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
    ‘One test should not determine the rest of your life,’ Rep. Susan Valdes says.
  8. The Florida House Education Committee focuses on early education in its first meeting of the 2020 session. The Florida Channel
    School security and early learning get top billing in the first committee meetings of the looming 2020 session.
  9. This image from a Pinellas County Schools video shows an armed police officer running to respond to a fictional active shooter.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  10. Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco discuss salary and benefits during negotiations on Sept. 18, 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff Writer
    The proposal is short on details, with officials saying they want to work through specifics during negotiations.