One Spark Reaching Out with EdSpark
The Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership has launched an education initiative with One Spark. EdSpark will allow creators with education-related projects to participate in One Spark. EdSpark is open to students, educators, parents or teams with innovative ideas or practices that will enhance learning in a classroom, school or district. EdSpark will have its own venue for students and education-related projects Downtown during the One Spark festival held April 9-13, 2014.
Teacher Evaluations Public Record
An appeals court has ruled that Florida’s value-added teacher data are public records. The 1st District Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 13 in favor of The Florida Times-Union in its appeal of a Leon County Circuit judge’s ruling that teacher evaluations were not a public record. Times-Union Editor Frank Denton said the court agreed with the newspaper on the heart of the case, that the records belong to the public and are open for inspection. The state Department of Education has 15 days to seek a rehearing and 30 days to appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.
Search Committee Chooses State University Chancellor
Marshall Criser III has been unanimously recommended by a search committee to become the new chancellor for the State University System. He replaces Frank Brogan, who resigned to lead Pennsylvania's higher education system. Criser is president of AT&T in Florida, chairman of the Higher Education Coordinating Council, vice chairman of the University of Florida Board of Trustees and a Scripps Research Institute Board of Trustees member. His hiring will be considered by the full board at its Nov. 20-21 meeting in Miami. Criser’s father, Marshall Criser Jr., was the University of Florida's president, 1984-1989.
Gateway Town Center Agreement
In a complicated agreement reached Nov. 12, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, Tax Collector Michael Corrigan and Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland announced the city will continue leasing space at Gateway Town Center until 2021. A call and mail center operated by Corrigan will move to the Yates Building in Downtown Jacksonville. The vacant Gateway space will then be used by the city for a customer service and community center and serve as an early voting location. The agreement ends litigation filed by the center's owner Terranova, and citizens, filed when the City Council moved the Supervisor of Elections warehouse from Gateway to another location. The city, obligated through 2015 for the Tax Collector’s Office, will continue paying $100,092 a month through March 30, 2011. David DeCamp, a spokesman for Mayor Brown, estimated the city would save about $50,000 over the life of the contract.
New FSCJ President Begins Work in January
Cynthia Bioteau will begin work Jan. 13 as the new president of Florida State College at Jacksonville. She will receive about $330,000 a year, plus a yearly $25,000 housing stipend and a $12,000 car allowance. She makes about $201,000 annually at her current job at Salt Lake Community College in Utah. Her contract runs from January 2014 to the end of 2016. Outgoing president Steven Wallace's annual salary was $514,000 a year in total compensation after 15 years as president. In addition, the Board approved a contract with Jill Johnson, to serve as the school’s spokeswoman. As Duval County Schools spokeswoman, she was reassigned after describing her husband as a redneck in a private phone conversation. The position pays $79,272 a year.
Runoff Planned for Fernandina Beach
Two candidates will meet in a Dec. 10 runoff election to see who will be elected to a seat on the Fernandina Beach City Council. No one in the Nov. 5 four-candidate race received 50 percent of the vote. Andrew Curtin, who received 31.8 percent of the vote, will meet Johnny Miller, who got 37.4 percent. Ed Boner won the straw poll for the mayor’s seat with 53.9 percent, compared with Sarah Pelican's 46 percent.
Council Approves Scoreboard Expenses
The world’s largest scoreboards and an end zone pool will soon be under construction at EverBank Field. The Jacksonville City Council approved financing 14-2 for its $43 million share of the total $63 million deal. On Nov. 12, Jaguars owner Shad Khan appealed to the City Council to approve the renovations to the city-owned stadium. Work should begin in January, to be completed by next summer. The Council turned down a motion by Councilman Stephen Joost that would have required the Jaguars to repay the city’s $43 million if the team were to move from EverBank Field. The city’s share will come from the hotel bed tax.