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Hillsdale cuts off Florida charter school over nude ‘David’ lesson fracas

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
 
Tourists take photos in front of Michelangelo's "David statue" in the Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy, Tuesday, March 28, 2023.
Tourists take photos in front of Michelangelo's "David statue" in the Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy, Tuesday, March 28, 2023. [ ALESSANDRA TARANTINO | AP ]
Published March 31, 2023

The big story: The fallout continues from a Tallahassee charter school’s decision to force out its principal after a dispute over showing a photo of Michelangelo’s David statue to students.

Hillsdale College, which provided the curriculum to Tallahassee Classical Academy, announced it would revoke its license with the school at the end of the year, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

“To set the record straight: This drama around teaching Michelangelo’s ‘David’ sculpture, one of the most important works of art in existence, has become a distraction from, and a parody of, the actual aims of classical education. Of course, Hillsdale’s K-12 art curriculum includes Michelangelo’s ‘David’ and other works of art that depict the human form,” the press release states. Read more here.

The former principal has taken issue with the way her departure has been reported, according to Tallahassee Reports.

Hot topics

Hernando County superintendent John Stratton said he will pursue the Brevard County school district's vacant superintendent position.
Hernando County superintendent John Stratton said he will pursue the Brevard County school district's vacant superintendent position.

Superintendents: The Brevard County School Board met for the first time since dumping its interim superintendent. Members discussed how to proceed with their leadership search, WKMG reports. • Hernando County superintendent John Stratton issued a statement saying he would seek the job, calling it the logical progression in his career. “This move has nothing to do with politics, discontentment, policy decisions or the current school board, and I will faithfully do my duties here as the Brevard school board makes its decision.” A Florida House committee is scheduled to consider legislation requiring Hernando to consider a return to an elected superintendent (HB 773) at 8 a.m. today.

School board politics: The Florida House reviewed a resolution that would ask voters to consider returning school board elections to partisan affairs, Florida Politics reports. They also prepared bills that would change school board candidate residency requirements and shorten school board term limits, Florida Politics reports.

Rezoning: The Palm Beach County School Board finalized attendance zones to assign students to its newest high school, the Palm Beach Post reports. • A plan to redraw boundaries for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Broward County is advancing over parent objections, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Progress monitoring: Some South Florida students and teachers say they prefer the state’s new FAST testing to previous models, WTVJ reports.

Hiring teachers: The Bay County school district hired a dozen new highly-effective teachers for its lowest performing schools, WMBB reports. The district plans to hold more job fairs as it works to meet its priority of improving these schools.

Gender lessons: A debate over Broward County’s sex education curriculum found School Board members clashing over the definition of “woman,” the NY Post reports.

Book challenges: A Flagler County high school pulled a challenged novel “Tilt” from its library shelves, but not because of the accusations that it’s pornographic, Flagler Live reports. Flagler superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt overruled a school-based decision to retain the novel “The Nowhere Girls,” Flagler Live reports.

Today in Tallahassee ... The House Education and Employment Committee will consider 10 bills when it meets at 8 a.m. • The House State Affairs Committee will consider HB 773 on elected Hernando County superintendent when it meets at 8 a.m. • The full House will convene at 11:30 a.m. with several education-related bills up for final consideration.

From the police blotter ... A Palm Beach County teen was arrested on allegations of threatening violence at a high school, the Palm Beach Post reports. • A Lee County special education teacher was arrested on accusations of striking a student, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. • A Volusia County charter school student was arrested on allegations of bringing a gun to school, WESH reports.

In higher education

Florida Institute of Technology has a new president. It’s University of New Orleans president John Nicklow, Florida Today reports.

Florida Polytechnic University continues to grow. The Polk County school has begun construction on its third student dorm, the Ledger reports.

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

Before you go ... Talking to several people this week it became evident that too many didn’t know or remember Kindergarten Cop.

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