Florida education news: 2019 school grades, teaching the Holocaust in public schools and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
It's been 20 years since Florida started using school grades as one of the cornerstones of its education accountability system. Grades for the 2018-19 school year were released Thursday. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
It's been 20 years since Florida started using school grades as one of the cornerstones of its education accountability system. Grades for the 2018-19 school year were released Thursday. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published July 12

SCHOOL GRADES: Florida’s school grading system hits the 20-year mark, with state officials releasing school grades for 2019. The numbers show more schools with A’s and B’s and fewer with F’s. State officials called the results “monumental.” For education journalists around Florida, it was the story of the day Thursday, and news organizations found many ways to analyze the data. The coverage included reports from the Tampa Bay Times, Bradenton Herald, Port Charlotte Sun, TCPalm, Daily Commercial, Daytona Beach News-Journal, Gainesville Sun, Ocala StarBanner, Panama City News Herald, The Palm Beach Post, Naples Daily News, Miami Herald, The Florida Times-Union, WLRN, The News-Press, Orlando Sentinel, redefinED, South Florida Sun Sentinel, The St. Augustine Record, Tallahassee Democrat, Northwest Florida Daily News, Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

TEACHING THE HOLOCAUST: After an uproar over a Palm Beach County principal who declined to acknowledge the Holocaust as a historical fact, Florida education commissioner Richard Corcoran is requesting detailed reports on how public schools in that county are teaching the Holocaust, Florida Phoenix reports. A letter by Corcoran says in part: “The law requires this instruction to be given on this topic with the highest standards for historical accuracy in a manner that leads to an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism and stereotyping.”

AUDIT TRAIL: Manatee County school officials say they’ve addressed eight major issues found more than three months ago in a state operational audit, the Bradenton Herald reports.

ALL SETTLED: The mother of an autistic teen who was left on a school bus twice in one week in 2016 settled a federal lawsuit this week against Polk County Public Schools,The Ledger reports.

START TIMES: The Polk County school system is shifting start times a little later at 19 schools, The Ledger reports.

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