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Fort Lauderdale Education Law Blog

5 policies driving racial inequality at charter schools

Every student deserves a solid education. Unfortunately, the reality is that many students miss out on academic opportunities and resources for reasons beyond their control, from where they live to the color of their skin.

This is a pervasive problem for all types of school, including charter schools. And to make matters worse, there are some charter schools that intentionally (or knowingly) put in place policies that discriminate against certain types of students. 

Could summer break be causing more problems for some students?

Summertime is a time for kids to relax and have fun. However, parents also want their kids to be active, stay engaged and continue learning new things, even when they aren't in a classroom. After all, the learning process shouldn't have to stop just because there is a break from school.

Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening, according to recent studies. As noted in this article from U.S. News and World Report, summer break in the United States could be contributing to a loss of knowledge that sets our children back academically.

Portable classroom can cause problems for some students

School often struggle to balance the needs of their students with the restraints of budgets and other resources. Some accomplish this and deliver everything required of them and more; others can't seem to make this happen. 

The latter situation can be frustrating for any parent. However, it can be especially upsetting for parents of children with special needs. These parents often already need to fight for the education and services their children require; adding in the impact of strained resources can make matters worse.

The debate about standardized testing continues in Florida

Standardized testing has been a tool for assessing student performance for several generations. Virtually every student, whether in public or private schools, has taken at least one standardized exam, but some parents question the dependence on these exams for evaluating student achievement.

Recently in Florida, an appeals court decided that standardized testing is the best indicator for passing third-graders - instead of school work or grades - despite assessment experts' opposition. According to veteran teacher Peter Greene, "Florida, in short, had a chance to show whether it was on the side of education or on the side of stupid. It picked stupid."

Legal woes outside of school can hurt teachers' standing

People often strive to keep their work like and their home life separate; this includes teachers. They might not discuss personal issues while at work, for instance. Or they might refrain from taking work calls or checking work email when they are home. Some people might seem to lead two different lives.

Unfortunately, there are situations in which the worlds collide, and this could have serious consequences when the elements of one world go against the elements of the other. As an example, a teacher could lose his or her job for misconduct outside the classroom.

How to address grade disputes

Imagine your child has put in countless hours working on a school assignment. He or she might have stayed up late, gotten up early, and skipped out on social or extracurricular activities to work on the project. Once the assignment's complete and handed in, you might both breathe a sigh of relief and wait eagerly for a good grade.

But when the grade comes back, it's not as good as you or your child expected. Worse, it's low enough that it could jeopardize something like your child's standing in the school, graduation or scholarship. In these situations, it can be crucial to know what options you have to dispute a grade.

What to do if your child is accused of bullying

Every parent knows that bullying is a serious problem in schools across Florida. While many worry most about their child being bullied, parents also worry that their child is a bully.

If you fall into the latter group, you may be unsure of what to expect regarding the school's response and your child's future. This is undoubtedly a difficult situation, but understand that there are things you can do to protect your child and help him or her get past negative behaviors.

Issues arise when it comes to school dress codes

Not surprisingly, young people and adults don't always see eye-to-eye on topics like educational policies and discipline. While these disagreements are typically fleeting, there are situations in which they can spark a conversation about a larger, serious issue.

School dress codes is one area where students and adults often clash. Schools create and enforce dress codes in an effort to keep the school peaceful and respectful, but students can feel unfairly restricted or even discriminated against when it comes these codes.

Accreditation for amateurs: What you need to know about your school

For parents and students, school selection can be a difficult process. There are so many factors to consider and “accreditation” seems like something that you shouldn’t have to worry about.

There are a few ways a school can be considered “accredited,” but what does that mean?

What accommodations might a child require on a school bus?

Parents of children with special needs know that accommodations -- even small ones -- can make a huge difference in that child's life. In the academic setting, for instance, a child might be able to be more confident and more successful with certain accommodations like the help of an aid, a specialized desk or a more flexible testing environment.

Accommodations can be critical outside the classroom for these students, as well. For instance, if you child rides the bus (or another form of school-provided transportation), then there are certain adjustments or provisions that can ensure the ride and the child is safe.