Thursday, November 23, 2017

Writers

Jeffrey S. Solochek, Times Staff Writer

Jeffrey S. Solochek, Times Staff Writer

Jeffrey S. Solochek has reported about Florida's public education system since the first school tried to return recognition funds from Jeb Bush's then-new A-Plus plan. Currently based in Pasco County, he covers state, regional and local education issues for the Tampa Bay Times both in print and online, including weekly podcasts and whatever new formats he can figure out. Follow on Twitter @jeffsolochek.



River Ridge High School senior Connor Beckman has been named Pasco County's 2018 Outstanding Senior.

Pasco’s 2018 Outstanding Senior hails from River Ridge High

River Ridge High School senior Connor Beckman has been named Pasco County’s 2018 Outstanding Senior.Commander of the school’s Air Force JROTC program, Beckman is also an Eagle Scout mentor, National Honor Society president and swim team...
Published: 11/22/17
Representatives from the United School Employees of Pasco, on the left, hold contract talks Nov. 9, 2017, with district negotiators. The sides are nearing an agreement. [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times]

A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

LAND O’LAKES — Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco sat together several times in the weeks leading to Thanksgiving break, trading contract proposals amid (mostly) amicable...
Published: 11/22/17
In a letter to Pasco Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning (pictured), the Florida Department of Education accepted the Pasco district's findings that concerns about Trinity Oaks Elementary's 2017 fourth-grade math tests were unfounded. [Times file photo]

Pasco school district proposes future changes to west-side elementary and middle school zones

Plans to erase the attendance boundaries for Ridgewood High School have grabbed all the attention.But the Pasco County school district also has proposed changes to west-side elementary and middle school zones for consideration this...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17
Hundreds of students at Hillsborough high schools walk out to protest teacher wage freezes

Hundreds of students at Hillsborough high schools walk out to protest teacher wage freezes

TAMPA — A protest over teacher pay that began with some 15 students early this week mushroomed into much larger movement Wednesday as hundreds of Hillsborough County high school students from eight campuses briefly walked out of their...
Published: 11/08/17
Updated: 11/09/17
Ridgewood High School no longer will be a traditional high school. It will reopen next fall as a magnet technical school, the Pasco School Board decided on Tuesday.

Ridgewood High to be converted to technical school, Pasco board decides

LAND O’LAKES — Say goodbye to Ridgewood High School as you know it.Next fall, the school, in New Port Richey, will focus on technical and career education. Its attendance zones will be erased, its students reassigned to nearby traditional high...
Published: 11/07/17
Updated: 11/09/17
BRENDAN FITTERER | TimesThe new system for redrawing school boundaries in Pasco will begin with district planners preparing maps that will be considered by superintendent Kurt Browning, shown here.

School district changes process for redrawing school boundaries

A prolonged legal battle with some dissatisfied parents has prompted the Pasco County School District to revamp its process for redrawing school attendance boundaries.Parents still will have opportunities to speak their mind on any proposals...
Published: 11/07/17
Updated: 11/09/17
Students work on book cover designs using Mac desktop computers in the Commercial Academy at Tampa Bay Tech High in Tampa. The school, which opened in the late 1960s, soon will have some company. The Pinellas and Pasco school districts are planning to open their own magnet technical high schools in 2018-19. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]

With a focus on careers and ‘sneaky academics,’ technical high schools are on the rise

TEMPLE TERRACE — Sophomore Tommie Johnson sat amid a sea of computers, creating a 12-month calendar, each page featuring his own superhero artwork.Hoping to become a comic book designer, but short on formal lessons, Johnson figured Tampa Bay...
Updated one month ago
The Pasco School Board is scheduled to take up the superintendent's recommendation to convert Ridgewood High School to a technical magnet school at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 7. [Photo by Jeffrey S. Solochek]

Details of plan to convert Ridgewood High to tech school begin to emerge

NEW PORT RICHEY — Heading into their Nov. 7 meeting, Pasco County School Board members said they harbored concerns about superintendent Kurt Browning’s proposal to transform Ridgewood High School into a magnet technical school.Before voting,...
Updated one month ago
Marva Johnson, who chairs the State Board of Education and is a member of Florida's Constitution Revision Commission, has proposed changing the Constitution to make it easier for public money to flow into private schools. [The Florida Channel]

Florida proposal seeks to clear the way for public funding of private schools

The chairwoman of the State Board of Education, charged with supervising Florida’s system of free public education, has proposed amending the state Constitution to permit funding of some private schooling.
Updated one month ago

State commission considering change in way superintendents are picked

Pasco County has the largest school system in the nation that is run by an elected superintendent. Voters have insisted it remain that way, most recently in 2006, when even some School Board members recommended a change.Now, the Florida...
Updated one month ago