Duval County leads state in number of schools considered ‘high-priority’
Duval County has more struggling schools than any other district in the Sunshine State, according to a Florida Department of Education report. The same report outlines the subject areas in which there exists a critical shortage of certified teachers, with English as the category projected to be in the direst need in the upcoming school year.
I-TEAM: Newly released documents reveal which items were flagged as Critical Race Theory in textbooks
The News4JAX I-TEAM is digging through thousands of documents just released by the Florida Department of Education. They reveal what textbook reviewers flagged as Critical Race Theory (CRT) and other prohibited topics which led to the rejection of 54 unpublished math books. Governor DeSantis has targeted Critical Race Theory -- saying the book authors are trying to ‘indoctrinate” Florida students.
FDOE reinstates more textbooks previously rejected over ‘prohibited’ content; questions remain over examples released
The Florida Department of Education has reinstated more math textbooks that were previously rejected because the state said they contained “prohibited” content such as critical race theory, social emotional learning and Common Core frameworks.
Florida’s education department reinstates 9 textbooks previously rejected over ‘prohibited’ content
The Florida Department of Education reinstated nine math textbooks that were previously rejected because the state said they contained “prohibited” content such as critical race theory, social emotional learning and Common Core frameworks.
Florida’s education department releases examples from math textbooks it says contained critical race theory
After math textbooks were recently rejected by the Florida Department of Education because it said they contain “prohibited topics” like critical race theory, the department has released examples of what was in those books.
Florida’s Education Dept. rejects 54 school textbooks for ‘prohibited topics’
In its review of 132 math textbooks that were submitted for consideration, the Florida Department of Education rejected 54, claiming they contain ‘prohibited topics’ such as critical race theory, social-emotional learning and Common Core frameworks.
As DeSantis pressures school districts on COVID-19 policy, Biden administration replaces withheld state funds
In its latest emergency rule issued Wednesday, the Florida Department of Education renewed pressure on local school boards to refrain from mandating face masks without a parental option to opt-out, something at least 10 school districts have done anyway.
County by county: How NE Florida school districts are reacting to state’s new quarantine policy
Florida’s newly appointed surgeon general on Wednesday signed new protocols allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they are asymptomatic after being exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Alachua County vows to fight back after state withholds school board salaries over mask mandate
Alachua Schools Superintendent Dr. Carlee Simon said her board members “deserve praise, not penalties” for their “courageous decision” to defy an executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis and implement a districtwide mask mandate.
Officials withhold school board salaries over mask mandates
Florida state education officials on Monday began to make good on threats to withhold funding from local school districts that defied Gov. Ron DeSantis' ban on mask mandates, despite a circuit judge last week ruling the ban unconstitutional. Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran announced that the Florida Department of Education has withheld an amount equal to monthly school board member salaries in Alachua and Broward counties, as directed by the State Board of Education.news.yahoo.com
Florida education department’s COVID-19 plan should be more aggressive, doctors say
A one-page information graphic outlining the Florida Department of Education’s recommendations on how school districts should combat COVID-19 was sent out to superintendents earlier this month, but it fails to include what medical experts conclude are the most effective mitigation strategies.
Florida Board of Education to consider sanctioning 2 mask-mandating school districts
The Florida Department of Education has scheduled an emergency meeting of the State Board of Education for Tuesday to consider funding cuts tor two school districts that have rebuffed Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order allowing parents to ignore mask mandates.news.yahoo.com
3rd-grade language arts FSA scores dip for local counties amid pandemic
The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) reported that 54% of third-grade students this year scored “satisfactory” or above on the state English-language arts exam, a 4 percentage-point decrease from 2019 when the exam was last administered.
Florida must focus on students’ progress after disruptive year, teachers union says
“We have to recognize that, although our teachers and staff in our schools have done amazing work, it’s not been without disruption,” Spar said. “Kids have been quarantined, teachers have been quarantined, staff has been quarantined, and that has created disruption.”“The big thing now is focusing on, how to we build and make sure that kids are getting everything that they need? Since it first arrived in Florida, the novel coronavirus has infected 80,682 students and staff associated with a school district, according to the FEA’s Safe Schools report. Overall, 146,793 kids in Florida who are school-aged (K-12) have tested positive for the virus since schools first reopened Aug. 10. The pandemic has claimed the lives of 40 Florida educators and nine school-aged children since schools reopened.
Bill would require Florida students to learn about pitfalls of communism
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Dozens of survivors of communist regimes flocked to the State Capitol on Thursday in a show of support for a bill that would bring stories like theirs into the classroom. Supporters expressed concerns that younger generations don’t understand the history of America’s founding principles and how they differ from communist ideology. But for dozens of survivors of communist regimes who brought their stories to the State Capitol, it’s personal. A survey by The Victims of Communism Foundation found one in three millennials have a favorable view of communism. A separate bill has been filed that would establish Victims of Communism Day as an official state holiday to commemorate the 100 million victims killed under communist regimes.
Some Florida teachers will get vaccine priority. School bus drivers want to be included
Cardona says the governor should allow school bus drivers and monitors to also be vaccinated at federal sites. Data on school bus drivers infected with COVID-19 is sparse. Some school districts, like Duval County, use third-party contractors who supply school bus drivers. Student Transportation of America, or STA, employs most school bus drivers for Duval County schools. Cardona says her union has fielded “numerous” calls from school bus drivers and monitors who reported testing positive for COVID-19.
Why there is no virtual PMA testing for Duval County students this year
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The third round of exams meant to track Duval County students’ progress begins Monday, but this one brings a major difference. Duval County Public Schools is not offering a virtual option this time around, despite allowing it for the first two PMAs. In Duval County, there are 17 schools that are currently in that program:Annie R Morgan Elementary SchoolArlington Elementary SchoolGeorge Washing Carver Elementary SchoolHighlands Middle SchoolJ.E.B. AdThe concern from many families continues to surround safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than one-in-five students in the district still engaged in its virtual learning formats. AdMore information about the FSAs and what options are afforded to parents can be found at the district’s website.
Some students, families concerned as in-person state testing looms
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For Duval County parents who have kept their students in virtual learning this school year, the upcoming Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) exams are causing concern as the district is not offering a virtual option. “The Florida Department of Education is requiring all students in grades six to 12 to take their Florida Standards Assessment, FSA, in state and the course exams, at a school location,” said a voicemail message sent to Duval County families whose students are enrolled in Duval Homeroom. “It just seems like, sometimes, our opinions are undervalued,” Sullivan said of parents of virtual learning students. While students were allowed to take this school year’s previous PMAs virtually, the message to parents was unclear as to whether the next one would offer that option. Meanwhile, in Tallahassee, some lawmakers have filed legislation to soften the financial impact that the state assessments could have on schools.
Florida schools graduation rate hits record-high after standardized tests waived
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida’s high school graduation rate hit a record-high of 90% in 2020. The Florida Department of Education said the graduation high is in part due to adjustments made during the coronavirus pandemic. The waived assessments propelled us in a direction we were already heading,” Duval County Schools Superintendent wrote in a statement. The Nassau County School District (91.6%) noted a 1.2% drop in the graduation rate since 2017-18 but still finished above the state’s average. See the results including all Florida high schools here.
State signs off on Duval, Clay school districts’ plans for spring reopening
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Education has signed off on the Duval County and Clay County school districts’ plans for spring reopening. Under the state’s COVID-19 emergency order, school districts have to continue offering in-person classes five days a week. The reopening plans allow the districts in Duval and Clay counties to continue receiving state COVID-19 relief funds. School districts in Nassau, St. Johns and Bradford counties have not had their plans approved yet. Click here for the list of approved plans.
Florida couple charged with stealing state trade secrets
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As many as 10,000 Florida teachers and principles are believed to have passed their certification exams using materials the federal government alleges were stolen from the state. Kathleen Jasper, 42, and her husband, Jeremy, 40, face 108 counts of wire fraud and three counts of stealing trade secrets, in this case the contents of the teacher certification exam and the executive leadership exam. He said the department has also worked to replace the questions at issue to preserve the integrity of teacher certification exams. “If the charged allegations are proven, stealing questions from Florida’s teacher certification exams and then profiting by selling live test questions, especially to unknowing educators, is despicable,” Corcoran said. He said the content his client is accused of stealing was already available on the state Department of Education’s website.
Families weigh learning options as school districts finalize plans for spring 2021
Here’s where they stand at last check:Duval County Public SchoolsDuval County families have until Friday to cancel Duval HomeRoom for the spring semester. As of Wednesday, Duval County Public Schools Spokeswoman Sonya Duke-Bolden said, 2,200 families have requested to opt out of Duval Homeroom for the third quarter. Also, as of Wednesday, 80,780 students were enrolled in brick and mortar classes, 27,203 in Duval HomeRoom and 1,481 were learning via Duval Virtual Instruction Academy. Duke-Bolden added that these numbers do not include charter school students. St. Johns County School DistrictThe St. Johns County School District told News4Jax a survey was sent to families with students participating in distance learning, asking about their intended second-semester learning option.
Economic advantage remains a factor in Florida student achievement
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A recent update to the Florida Department of Education’s website expands the publically accessible performance data on the state, district and school levels. State gap trend of economically disadvantaged and non-economically disadvantaged students (Florida Department of Education)Between 2015 and 2018, the percentage point gap for graduation rates shrank from 15.3 to 8.8. That trend is reflected in the numbers for many northeast Florida school districts. For instance, in northeast Florida, about 67% of Duval County students, 48% of Clay County students and 21% of St. Johns County students are considered to have that disadvantage. Much more information about school performance in Florida is available and the recently renovated data portal on the Florida Department of Education’s website.
Emergency order for schools not coming before Thanksgiving
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s education commissioner has said he hoped to have a new emergency order detailing how public schools would operate beginning in January before Thanksgiving arrived. But it looks like the order will be coming later than expected. “I would say I think the next emergency order is going to be a significant improvement based on our first 90, 100 days in school,” Corcoran said. And Corcoran said in the spring there will have to be greater efforts to intervene when online learning isn’t working for a student. A spokesperson for the Department of Education said the agency expects to have the updated emergency order issued before the end of the month.
Money to aid mental health services for children in Florida
The Florida Department of Education is making $2 million available to rural counties across the state to increase access to telehealth to provide mental-health services for schoolchildren. “I’m excited today to announce to 18 of the rural counties across the state of Florida we’ll be issuing $2 million to those rural districts to help students there increase access to tele- and mental-health services,” Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis said during a Monday news conference at the governor’s mansion. The money is available from federal CARES Act stimulus funding and will be directed to rural counties that have lower rates of internet connectivity and have limited access to health-care professionals. “The bridge that we have created with tele-mental health ensures that that door is opened that much more quickly.” Mayhew said. Monday’s announcement was lauded by Natalie Kelly, CEO of the Florida Association of Managing Entities.
Duval County 7th and 8th graders return to classrooms Monday
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More students will be back in Duval County classrooms Monday as the school district continues phasing out its hybrid learning model. Seventh and eighth graders will return to five days a week in-person education Monday after spending part of the first month of the school year doing virtual education. Sixth graders returned to full-time in the classroom last week and high school students go back on Sept. 28. Duval County said the phasing out of hybrid learning does not have any impact on students learning via Duval Homeroom or Duval Virtual Instruction Academy. IThis comes as DCPS added three new COVID-19 cases to its student body total on Saturday and one new confirmed case of the virus among its staff members.
All-virtual start to school year ‘unfeasible,’ DCPS board chairman says
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In response to demonstrations by teachers and parents on Monday near downtown Jacksonville, school board chairman Warren Jones told News4Jax he was briefly considering an effort to move all classes to virtual instruction for at least the first nine weeks of the fall semester. The chairman told News4Jax on Tuesday that he will not be following through with the request, citing “so many moving parts” as the reason the full-virtual strategy is not feasible. The school district has submitted its current reopening plan to the state and it is pending approval. Teachers and parents have been protesting the school district’s decision to go back to face-to-face instruction for part of the school week during demonstrations and public comment of school board meetings. It shows that coronavirus cases among kids in Duval County are up 62% in the last two weeks.
Duval School Board to vote on suspending safety drills during COVID-19
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The Duval County School Board will consider a resolution Thursday that would ask the Florida Department of Education to waive the requirement that districts perform emergency drills for fires, natural disasters, active shooters, hostage situations and bomb threats. The COVID-19 pandemic is a monumental and unprecedented challenge, emerging quickly and demanding an immediate overhaul of instructional plans and school operations across the country, the resolution said. The stated purpose of the resolution is to prioritize the practice of social distancing. Florida Statutes require the district conduct emergency drills for fires, natural disasters, active shooter and hostage situations, and bomb threats, for all K-12 students and faculty at all public schools at least as often and other emergency drills, the resolution said. The special meeting is set to be held in the Cline Auditorium at the DCPS Administration Building.