1. Gradebook

Florida education news: Innovation planning, teacher morale, student successes and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Kindergarten teacher Amanda Iler incorporates Common Core standards into her lessons as Florida works to require the model in 2013. State leaders are now discussing overhauling the standards. [Douglas R. Clifford | Times]
Kindergarten teacher Amanda Iler incorporates Common Core standards into her lessons as Florida works to require the model in 2013. State leaders are now discussing overhauling the standards. [Douglas R. Clifford | Times]
Published May 22, 2019

INNOVATION: Florida’s chancellor for innovation, a newly created position, gets a large portfolio for his job assignment. The work includes executing the governor’s orders and priorities, which encompasses major initiatives such as revising state standards.

DISSATISFACTION: A Hillsborough County school district survey of teachers shows many educators at Jennings Middle share the deep concerns that prompted one of their colleagues to make a very public exit from the profession.

STUDENT SUCCESSES: A Hillsborough County middle school student shares her story in an essay contest and wins a college scholarship. • A teen from Haiti who landed in Orlando speaking almost no English three years ago presses ahead to earn her high school graduation, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

TEACHER PAY: Boosting teacher salaries will be a top budget priority for Pasco County schools, the superintendent tells the School Board.

THAT TEACHER WITH A GUN: A Pinellas County teacher who brought a loaded gun and knives to school hints she did so as a political statement after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law changes to the state’s guardian program.

SECURITY: The Broward County school district makes it easier to become a school guard, and moves to pay more for the position, the Sun-Sentinel reports. • The Osceola County School Board votes unanimously not to allow classroom teachers to carry guns in school in the guardian program, Spectrum 13 reports.

CODE RED: Police swarm a Broward County high school after a fight breaks out and someone reports one of the students has a gun, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

10 DAYS: The Lee County school district has 10 days to fix findings that it misused $3.9 million in taxpayer money, or face a loss of state funding, WINK reports.

GRADUATION RATES: The Charlotte County school district announces its graduation rate increased by 6 percentage points, surpassing the state average, the Charlotte Sun reports.

YOUR DIPLOMA’S IN THE MAIL: A Palm Beach County teen who brought a pellet gun to school is barred from his commencement ceremony, the Palm Beach Post reports.

GETTING THERE: Sarasota County will examine how to improve safety for students traveling to Brentwood Elementary after a 9-year-old is killed in traffic on his way to school, the Herald-Tribune reports.

SAVING LIVES: Some Sarasota County middle school students learn to use trauma kits to stop potentially fatal bleeding, the Herald-Tribune reports.

BUS CRASH: Four Brevard County students are taken to the hospital after their school bus crashes with a car, Florida Today reports.

SCHOOL THREATS: An Orange County middle school will have heightened security after a faculty member receives a threat of violence, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

TODAY: Florida Board of Education, 9 a.m., Tampa

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup


  1. From left, Don Haddad, Peter Licata and Addison Davis, all finalists for the job of Hillsborough County school superintendent, met Thursday with community members at Rampello K-8 School. The School Board will choose among the three on Tuesday. [MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times]
    Addison Davis, Don Haddad and Peter Licata outline their plans for the first 90 days.
  2. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [Times]
    A man university police believe was target shooting near campus was not located, the university said.
  3. Former state senator John Legg has not ruled out a run for Pasco County schools superintendent. The district is the nation's largest to elect its chief executive.
    Short answer: Maybe.
  4. But the competition isn’t who many people expected it to be.
  5. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) [MARK LENNIHAN  |  AP]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  6. A point tally ranking the three finalists to be Hillsborough County's next school superintendent shows up on a screen in the School Board meeting room Thursday after a meeting that lasted most of the day. [MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times]
    The last round of interviews is set for Jan. 21.
  7. Rep. Stan McClain, an Ocala Republican, presents a bill that would allow Florida public colleges and universities to sponsor charter schools, during a January 2020 meeting of the House PreK-12 Innovation subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
    Alternative authorizers have been found unconstitutional in the past. But that isn’t stopping the effort.
  8. Thousands rallied and marched from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center to the Florida Historic Capitol to demand more money for public schools Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. Thousands of school workers from around the state thronged Florida's Capitol on Monday to press Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature to more than double the nearly $1 billion the governor is proposing for teacher raises and bonuses.  (Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat via AP) [TORI LYNN SCHNEIDER  |  AP]
    The PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee cutting exercise would come in nearly 25 percent below Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal.
  9. Cocoa Police Department video shows A.J. Plonsky being taken to a mental health facility under the Florida Baker Act on his first day of middle school, August 10, 2018.  [JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Times]
    Never intended to be used on children, the 1970s law in increasingly applied in schools.
  10. Assisted by the Ray and Associates search firm, the Hillsborough County School Board is hiring a new superintendent. [MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times staff]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.