1. Gradebook

Florida education news: School grades, mascots, a principal’s downfall and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times A High Point Elementary School 4th-grader updates an ELA progress board on Friday (4/7/17) in Kristin Bierman's 4th-grade classroom at the school in Clearwater.
Published Jul. 15

SCHOOL GRADES: Florida’s annual school grades came out late last week. How did the Tampa Bay school districts fare? We break down the results from Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties. • Critics continue to question the value of grading schools, the Herald-Tribune reports.

MASCOTS: Put off by a district plan to remove Native American mascots from several schools without its input, the Hillsborough County School Board will debate whether such changes should require a board vote.

PARENT INVOLVEMENT: The Hillsborough County school district explores new approaches for reaching out to parents.

CHARTER SQUABBLE: A financially troubled Manatee County charter school battles the school district over its role, the Bradenton Herald reports. Some say the school’s struggles date back to the area’s segregated past.

BEAUTIFICATION EFFORTS: Charlotte County school district employees and other volunteers participate in a district office cleanup, the Charlotte Sun reports.

TIME TO GO: Flagler County superintendent James Tager announces his plan to retire in summer 2020, to give his School Board time to prepare for a replacement, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

MENTAL HEALTH: The Lake County school district overhauls its approach to mental health services, the Daily Commercial reports.

PRINCIPAL’S FALL: The swift decline of the Palm Beach County school principal who told a parent the Holocaust was not historic fact had not been anticipated before the incident that gained national attention, the Palm Beach Post reports. More from WLRN.

JAILHOUSE LESSONS: Florida’s prison system provides little meaningful education to inmates, despite evidence that education helps reduce recidivism, the Herald-Tribune reports.

TAXES: Supporters of a Duval County schools sales tax referendum appear more confident the vote will happen after another round of meetings with county leaders, the Florida Times-Union reports.

COMING UP: The State Board of Education meets Wednesday at Polk State College Turnaround plans for several districts, including Hillsborough, Polk and Duval, are on the agenda.


  1. Representatives from the United School Employees of Pasco, on the left, present their latest pay request to the district's bargaining team during talks on Oct. 24, 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    Teachers have yet to reach a deal on their contract.
  2. The Florida House Education Committee focuses on early education in its first meeting of the 2020 session. It has met just once more since then. The Florida Channel
    Lawmakers have yet to set an aggressive agenda beyond talk of teacher pay as the 2020 legislative session nears.
  3. FILE - In a Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 file photo, transgender teen Drew Adams, left, leaves the U. S. Courthouse with his mother Erica Adams Kasper after the first day of his trial about bathroom rights at Nease High School, in Jacksonville, Fla. The transgender student's fight over school bathrooms comes before a federal appeals court Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. Drew Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, won a lower court ruling in 2018 ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. (Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP, File) WILL DICKEY  |  AP
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  4. A bird's-eye view of USF St. Petersburg, which this week announced a new member of the Campus Board. She is Melissa Seixas, a Duke Energy executive who earned her master's degree at USF.
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  5. An LGBTQ Pride march participant walks under a large rainbow flag in New York earlier this year. School Board policy regarding LGBTQ students has been a frequent topic of discussion in recent months in Pasco County. CRAIG RUTTLE  |  AP
    The discourse is more civil and respectful, two weeks after a session that many deemed hate-filled and vile.
  6. The Florida Legislature so far has has left Gov. Ron DeSantis to set most education policy priorities for 2020.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  7. "Miss Virginia," a film about school choice, will be screened at the Tampa Theatre on Dec. 10.
    “Miss Virginia” will be playing at the Tampa Theater on Tuesday.
  8. Florida Senator Tom Lee, R- Thonotosassa. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times] SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES
    The Senate Education Committee will tackle some high-profile issues in its final meeting before session.
  9. Jennifer Dixon, Pasco County's 2020 Teacher of the Year, thanks her students for making her job 'the job that I love.' JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    Jennifer Dixon ‘lives and breathes teaching,’ her principal says.
  10. Third grade teacher Genevieve Beaumier, center, helps Venicia Joanis, 9, left, and Tobias Watkins, 8, with their reading skills at Forest Hill Elementary School in Tampa. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    A roundup of stories from around the state.