Cathy Carter

Reporter

Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and other Florida public radio stations.

Before joining WUSF, Cathy was the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition for Delaware Public Media and reported on a variety of topics from education to the arts.

Cathy also reported for WAMU, the NPR news station in Washington D.C, was a host at XM Satellite Radio and wrote arts and culture stories for a variety of newspapers, including the Virginian Pilot and the Baltimore Sun.

Her work has been honored by journalism organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Maryland Press Association and the Delaware Press Association.

A graduate of Boston’s Emerson College, Cathy is a Massachusetts native, meaning that like all residents is under state mandate to be a Boston Red Sox fan.

Contact Cathy at 813-974-8638, on Twitter @catcartreports or by email at ccarter@wusf.org

Ways to Connect

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According to the Florida Department of Education, nearly eighty one percent of Florida teenagers earned a high school diploma last year. That makes the state's graduation rate 20 percent higher than it was a decade ago.

It mirrors a national trend--but is the news too good to be true?  

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Clearwater City Council voted unanimously Thursday to buy a prime piece of downtown real estate.

The 1.4-acre vacant lot next to City Hall was once intended to be the new home of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. But that plan was scrapped when the aquarium failed to raise enough money to build a new facility.

More than 4,000 people have weighed in on a plan that would change school schedules in Hillsborough County.

The average age when people are coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is falling. 

But a climate of growing acceptance doesn't necessarily translate to the current generation of teens wanting to express their sexual orientation or gender identity at school. To some, it's a place that still feels unsafe.

Courtesy Carlos Childs

The first thing you notice at Campbell Park Elementary School in St. Petersburg are all the signs. An oversized poster reads "No Fear, No Limits, No Excuses" in big block letters. A wooden plaque is inscribed in flowering cursive with the phrase, "Always Be Kind." The affirmations are just a part of an effort to transform the school's culture in the wake of a newspaper investigation on failing majority black schools in Pinellas County.

Cathy Carter/WUSF News

For baseball fans, spring training means winter is almost over and pennant dreams can be renewed.  But in Florida, baseball’s six week warm-up means big business.

The Florida Senate has voted on a plan that will bring sweeping changes to the state’s higher-education system.

Pooneh Ghana

The country's top three music festivals grossed about $130 million dollars last year. But several other well-known multi-day music events managed to lose money and some were outright canceled.

But the same can't be said for two relative newcomers to the festival scene, and both are in Tampa Bay.

Courtesy Melinda Hohman

A state appeals court has overturned a ruling concerning school testing in Florida.

The judgment is a major setback for the “Opt-Out” movement.

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Beginning this fall, Florida students can go to any public school in the state. Seen as a victory for proponents of school choice, the new law was signed by Gov. Rick Scott last year. It allows students to cross county borders as long as a school has room, and parents provide their own transportation. 

The Associated Press

The azaleas are in bloom -- that means the legislative session in Tallahassee is just around the corner. What’s likely to happen, and how will it affect you?


Lee Demorris

It’s family game night at Davis Elementary School in Clearwater, but there's not a Monopoly board or a Jenga block in sight. Instead, kids and parents are playing math games.

Kara Goldberg

After 10 years and 10 plays, an epic production in St. Petersburg will soon take its final bow.  

With its current production of “Joe Turner's Come and Gone" by August Wilson, American Stage is now one of just 12 theaters in the world to complete the late playwright's "American Century Cycle."

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Waving signs reading “Nasty Women Unite,” and “Choose Love,” thousands of marchers poured into downtown St. Petersburg Saturday to support women’s issues and civil rights. It was one of hundreds of “sister marches” happening the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, as a protest to his agenda. 

Amy Weintraub

Organizers say an estimated 17,000 people plan to demonstrate in St. Petersburg Saturday.

The event is one of hundreds across the country that will coincide with the National Women's March on Washington.

Cathy Carter/WUSF

A St. Petersburg teacher was surprised with an award and a $25,000 prize during an all-school assembly Thursday.

Lukas Hefty, a science and math coordinator at Douglas Jamerson Jr. Elementary School, is Florida's only recipient of the national Milken Educator Awards. Its aim is to encourage early to mid-career education professionals.

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Gender identity and bathroom use was a hot button issue in 2016. Last May, the Obama administration sent guidelines to the nation's public schools about restroom use for transgender students.

School districts - including several in Florida - have grappled with the issue. And the U.S. Supreme Court has now entered the debate agreeing to hear a case where a Virginia school district fought the directive.

Harrison McNeill/Flickr

The Pinellas County School District is investigating a trio of school bus accidents that occurred Tuesday.

On the first day back to school following winter break, one school bus driver was charged with a DUI after her bus was rear-ended.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Hispanic artists have long been part of the visual landscape in Florida and in other parts of the country. But often, Latino art is overlooked. That's why the Smithsonian American Art Museum is growing its collection of Latino art and created an exhibit to reflect America's evolving culture. That show is now on the road and currently in St. Petersburg. 

As 2016 winds down, we’re taking another listen to some of the best news stories we discussed on Florida Matters throughout the year.

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