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Florida teachers don’t get enough math instruction, report says

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
Fourth graders Austin Corcoran, 9, left, and Tyler Williams, 10, work together on a math lesson in 2020 at Innovations Preparatory Academy in Wesley Chapel. A new national report states that Florida teacher preparation programs lag the nation in the amount of time spent on math content.
Fourth graders Austin Corcoran, 9, left, and Tyler Williams, 10, work together on a math lesson in 2020 at Innovations Preparatory Academy in Wesley Chapel. A new national report states that Florida teacher preparation programs lag the nation in the amount of time spent on math content. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published May 19

The big story: Florida has spent plenty of time in recent weeks discussing the content of math textbooks.

A new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality suggests that Florida’s teachers should spend more time learning about how to instruct the subject.

The report indicates that undergraduate teacher preparation programs around the nation have increased the amount of time the future educators focus on elementary math. But Florida logged in last for math content provided, at 40 hours, Education Week reports.

Wyoming ranked first, with 146 hours.

Read the report here. And here’s the story from Education Week.

Culture wars

HB 1557: A federal judge has scheduled a trial over Florida’s new law relating to the instruction of gender identity and sexual orientation for February, the News Service of Florida reports.

Book challenges: The president of Florida’s school media specialist association says her profession faces unprecedented scrutiny, WLRN reports. • The St. Johns County School Board will meet next week to review seven of 50 books that a group has requested be removed from school shelves, WJXT reports.

Math textbooks: The Escambia County school district’s choice of K-5 math books was added to the state’s approved list, the Pensacola News-Journal reports. The district’s top five choices all had been initially rejected.

Legal costs: The Sarasota County School Board approved spending an additional $136,000 in legal fees to cover costs associated with disputes over masks, public commenting and other “extraordinary circumstances,” WUSF reports.

More hot topics

Top teachers: Two more finalists were announced for Florida 2023 teacher of the year — Deelah Jackson of Manatee County (Bradenton Herald) and Jennifer Jaso of Sarasota County (WWSB). • Miami-Dade County music teacher Vivian Gonzalez is one of 30 recipients nationally of a Music Teacher of Excellence Award from the County Music Association, WFOR reports.

Superintendent turnover: The Alachua County School Board extended the contract of its interim superintendent through June 2024, WCJB reports.

School violence: Numbers of school fights, threats and other incidents are not increasing across Florida, but some families say they feel the intensity of school violence more and want officials to provide more security, WTVJ reports.

Free meals: Seminole County schools are encouraging families to see if they qualify for meal benefits as the federal program providing free lunches for everyone ends, Spectrum 13 reports.

Charter schools: Indian River State College won approval to launch a charter high school in Martin County, WQCS reports. • One of Central Florida’s oldest charter schools broke ground for a new home, WFTV reports. • A charter school group has announced plans for a new early college program in Duval County, Clay Today reports.

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Other school news

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus has a new leader. Christian Hardigree comes from Metropolitan State University in Denver.

The Hillsborough County school district is expanding its choice offerings. It will introduce its first Montessori program at Essrig Elementary, WFLA reports.

The Broward County School Board approved its superintendent’s reorganization plan despite concerns it was rushed. The plan cuts academic positions while adding communications jobs, WLRN reports.

Some Orange County graduating seniors wrote notes to thank teachers who made a difference to them. Then they delivered the messages in person, WKMG reports.

What is a climate refugee? Some Miami-Dade County teens are getting lessons through art in how climate changes might affect Miami, the Miami Herald reports.

From the police blotter ... A Pasco County high school teacher was arrested on accusations of having sex with a student.

Don’t miss a story. Yesterday’s roundup is just a click away.

Before you go ... Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won Eurovision 2022. Have you heard the song yet?

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