Education

Education
9:42 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Why Florida Is Fighting The U.S. Education Department Over English Learners

Althea Valle teaches a class of ELL's. She says of the new federal requirement, "I think it’s going to put a lot of pressure on the schools to get these kids where we think they should be."
Credit Gina Jordan/StateImpact Florida

A 10th grader born in Haiti struggles to read in his class at Godby High School in Tallahassee. The student is more comfortable with Haitian Creole than English. Teacher Althea Valle has students of various nationalities trying to master the language.

“It’s a challenge,” Valle says. “There’s a lot of gesturing, and you know sometimes I feel like I’m onstage and sometimes I have to be onstage to make myself understood.”

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Education
8:08 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

The University of Florida Names A New President

The University of Florida names Cornell Provost Kent Fuchs as its 12th president.

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 2:34 pm

The University of Florida has chosen a new president.

Cornell University Provost Dr. Kent Fuchs, pronounced "fox" will become the 12th president of UF. He will start his new job  New Year's Day, if he is approved by the state university system governing board, the Florida Board of Governors. The BOG will meet Nov. 5 and 6th where it's also expected to take up the ratification of FSU's new president, state Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine).

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Education
5:58 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Jill Biden, Annette Taddeo Campaign on Education at USF

Jill Biden presses the flesh with USF students
Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF News

As the race for governor heats up, the Democrats are calling on some big names to help out Charlie Crist. Vice President Joe Biden is in South Florida this afternoon, and his wife Jill appeared today at the University of South Florida in Tampa. She listened to a group of students talking about making college affordable.

Biden says the average college student is weighed down with about $30,000 of debt when they graduate.

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Education
3:13 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Colleges Duck Public Records Law Via Corporations

The University of Central Library, Orlando

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 2:13 pm

The business of Florida's 12 public universities is supposed to be public like any other state agency. Salaries, contracts, policies and other university business records are supposed to be subject to Florida's expansive Sunshine Law, which mandates that most government actions be open to scrutiny.

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Education
12:58 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

UF Search Committee Names Three Presidential Finalists

The University of Florida's Presidential Search Committee has narrowed its list of finalists to three, all from out-of-state, with the president-elect expected to be named Wednesday.

On Monday, the search committee selected as finalists Cornell University Provost Kent Fuchs, New York University Provost David W. McLaughlin and Sibrandes Poppema, president of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

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Education
11:04 am
Mon October 13, 2014

How A Miami Middle School Added Speech And Debate Classes On A Budget

Veldreana Oliver has taught physical education for 28 years at Allapattah Middle School. More recently, her principal asked her to teach writing, speech and debate
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Last week, StateImpact Florida told you how a middle school in Miami has added speech and debate courses this year to improve reading, writing and speaking.

The school’s principal, Bridget McKinney, majored in debate and thought the requirements for Florida’s new Common Core-based standards sounded a lot like her college classes. She needed a writing teacher for new speech and debate courses she wanted to create.

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Education
9:19 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Earl Lennard Named USF 'Distinguished Alumni'

Earl Lennard is receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of South Florida's College of Education.

Many people know Earl Lennard as Hillsborough County's Supervisor of Elections, a job he retired from in 2012.

But before that, he spent more than four decades with Hillsborough County Public Schools as a teacher, and eventually as superintendent. Lennard is being presented with a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of South Florida's College of Education on Friday.   

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Education
11:09 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Putting It To The Test: Is New FSA Too Much, Too Soon?

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 8:15 am

There’s a new test in town and it's replacing Florida's long-established FCAT.

The new Florida Standards Assessment will test students on their knowledge of a set of rigorous new state standards based on the now infamous Common Core. But will students be ready?

In part two of a three part series on the issue, WJCT’s Rhema Thompson explains there are some concerns about how the state is rolling out and grading this new test.

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StateImpact Florida
9:54 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Why A Miami Middle School Is Teaching Debate To Conquer Common Core

Allapattah Middle School principal Bridget McKinney sits in on one of the speech and debate classes she's required her students to take. McKinney says the Common Core standards emphasis using evidence and making arguments.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Bridget McKinney, principal at Miami's Allapattah Middle School, says her students struggle to pass the state's reading and writing tests.

So when McKinney first read the Common Core math and language arts standards used in Florida schools this year, what jumped out was the emphasis on answering questions and making arguments using examples and evidence from what students are reading.

It took McKinney back to college -- she was a speech major. So she decided her sixth, seventh and eighth graders would have to take a speech and debate course each year.

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Education
10:35 am
Sat October 4, 2014

Too Much Testing? Parents Try Opting Out As Districts Create Thousands Of New Tests

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 2:40 pm

Florida school district officials are writing thousands of new exams to administer to students this school year. The effort to create end-of-course tests in subjects not evaluated at the state level, is causing more parents, and local education officials to call for a time out on testing.

Tallahassee mom Elizabeth Overholt is fed up.

“It’s a complete mess to start with," she says about the current state of Florida's school accountability system.

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Education
7:06 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Florida Education Board Approves $17.5B Funding Request Amid Testing Worries

Florida's Board of Education

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 4:46 pm

The Florida Board of Education’s new budget request promotes Governor Rick Scott’s pledge for record funding of K-12 public schools. If it’s approved by the legislature this Spring, the $17.5 billion request would one for the record books.

Scott has made education funding a priority for the past two years, a reversal from his first year in office when the legislature approved a $1.3 billion cut to public schools. The money has been steadily increasing since then. Now Scott is campaigning on even more money for education.

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Education
9:38 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Why The ACLU Is Challenging Single-Gender Classes In Florida Schools

The ACLU is worried single-gender classes might reinforce stereotypes of the 1950s.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

 

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed federal complaints against school districts in Broward, Hernando, Hillsborough and Volusia counties over the use of all-girls or all-boys classes. The ACLU wants the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to investigate the programs.

StateImpact Florida’s Gina Jordan spoke with Galen Sherwin, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, about the complaints.

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Education
6:39 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Florida State Picks Thrasher as President, Despite Opposition

State Sen. John Thrasher is a former state House speaker and chairman of Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election campaign
Credit Associated Press

Florida State University is hiring powerful state Sen. John Thrasher as its next president despite significant opposition from people on campus who contended he isn’t qualified for the post.

The FSU board voted 11-2 Tuesday to hire Thrasher over three academics, pushing aside objections from FSU faculty who cited his lack of education credentials. Thrasher, a former state House speaker and chairman of Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election campaign, also drew criticism after he sidestepped questions during a campus forum about climate change and evolution.

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StateImpact Florida
11:27 am
Mon September 22, 2014

How Broward College Is Reducing Student Debt

The debt management seminar taught by Kent Dunston is part of the school's efforts to reduce student loan debt.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

To get a student loan at Broward College, you’ve got to sit through a two-hour financial lesson with Kent Dunston first.

At times, it’s a little like “Scared Straight!” – that 1978 documentary about setting juvenile delinquents on the right path -- but for your credit score.

Dunston’s first piece of advice – figure out how much money you’re going to need.

“You’re not going to borrow more than that amount of money,” he told the students. “You’ll be offered more. You don’t need it.”

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Education
12:12 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Census: Floridians Better Educated in 2013

Floridians became a little better educated last year, were middle-of-the-pack in having access to the Internet and had the nation's highest concentration of retail workers.

The U.S. Census Bureau released new figures Thursday that capture the lives of Floridians last year and how they changed from 2012.

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