October 21, 2020
Under legal pressure, Florida releases names of schools with COVID-19 cases


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Under legal pressure, Florida releases names of schools with COVID-19 cases

| 10/1/2020

Under legal pressure, Florida releases names of schools with COVID-19 cases

A month after Florida schools reopened amid the coronavirus pandemic, state officials revealed for the first time on Tuesday evening a state report that details school-related COVID-19 data. The school-specific data was released by the Florida Department of Health after a coalition of news organizations threatened to sue Gov. Ron DeSantis for violating the state public records law. More from the Tampa Bay Times, WJXT and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

See also:
» Two students create a better COVID-19 dashboard for USF

Florida school opening lawsuit gets nudge forward

A small decision by the 1st District Court of Appeal could put the state’s school reopening lawsuit back on track for the expedited ruling that many expected. In a three-sentence order, the court announced it would not combine the original case seeking temporary injunction against the Department of Education emergency order with a second related case asking to reconsider the Florida Education Association’s standing to bring the suit. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida students must take standardized tests on campus, angering some parents

Though nearly 40 percent of its students are studying online because of the coronavirus pandemic, Florida is requiring students taking its standardized exams this school year to test in person. Officials with the Florida Department of Education said fall tests, including kindergarten assessments and makeup exams for high school students, are optional for students not studying on campus. Florida’s spring 2021 testing season, however, likely will be mandatory, and students will need to be at school to take them. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Commentary: ‘Rigor Gap’ could leave Florida’s students less prepared for future workplace

Florida must come to terms with a stunning “rigor gap” that reflects a troubling trend, as a large number of students get passing grades for their classroom work only to fail the related end-of-course exams required for graduation. When 72% of Florida 10th graders who failed the English-Language Arts end-of-course exam did so after receiving a ‘C’ or higher from their teachers, something is seriously wrong. The math is just as fuzzy when 55% of students who failed the Algebra I end-of-course exam had received passing grades for their classroom work. [Source: Palm Beach Post]

Eleven Florida schools receive National Blue Ribbon School Honors

The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed almost 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years. [Source: ]


› Suncoast Technical College initiative helps students land critical careers for economic development
Suncoast Technical College is joining forces with the Florida Department of Education for a new workforce education initiative aimed at raising awareness of short-term career and technical education programs. They are calling it “Get There.”

› FSU College of Education professor wins prestigious higher education award
A Florida State University higher education professor has received the Presidential Medal from the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). Tamara Bertrand Jones, an associate professor of higher education in the College of Education, was recognized for her exemplary achievements and contributions to the study of higher education through research, leadership or service to ASHE and the field of higher education.

› Jacksonville University partners with company that pays students during IT training
Jacksonville University is partnering SkillStorm to offer an information technology course that will pay participants while they are training for a job waiting for them when they complete the curriculum and earn certification. “We believe we can impact the region’s economic development and make the area more attractive for tech companies,” said Justin Viarello, SkillStorm CEO.

› Hillsborough schools will borrow $75 million to meet payroll
Superintendent Addison Davis faced a skeptical School Board last week over his plans to save money by cutting staff. But all that changed less than 48 hours later, when he hit them with news that they must borrow soon to meet operating expenses. The school district’s cash reserves are projected to dwindle to $9 million in early November.

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