Education

Education
10:49 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Math Tests for Nearly 550,000 Students Won't Count

Credit AP Photo

The Florida Department of Education says that the math tests taken by nearly 550,000 students won't count this school year.

The department sent out a memo this week to school districts telling them the results from end-of-course exams in Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II will not be available until September.

State officials told districts to calculate final grades without the test grades. The tests are supposed to count for 30 percent of the grade.

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Education
5:13 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Judge Rejects Challenge to Tax Credit Scholarships

In a victory for school-choice supporters, a circuit judge Monday tossed out a constitutional challenge to a state program that helps send tens of thousands of low-income children to private schools.

Leon County Circuit Judge George Reynolds ruled that plaintiffs in the case --- spearheaded by the Florida Education Association teachers union --- did not have legal "standing" to challenge the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.

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Education
9:08 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Charter Schools Take Aim at At-Risk Students

The entrance to Enterprise High School, a charter school in Pinellas County for students at risk for not completing their educations.
Credit M.S Butler

Of the more than 600 charter schools in Florida. Some focus on the arts, some on sciences. Others are high schools that help students who are at risk for not finishing or dropping out completely.

At the crossroads of  busy four lane highway in Clearwater, students have to make their way through the noise and exhaust of heavy traffic to get to their high school classes.

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Education
4:20 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Graduation Ceremony Celebrates Students' Best Friends

Kara Brown holds Griffin, her 4 month old Australian Shepherd dog. He lives with her at Eckerd College where she will be graduating with a degree in communications and journalism on Sunday.
Credit M.S Butler

It's that time of year when thousands of students across the country get ready to graduate from public and private schools. But in St. Petersburg there's a unique group taking a walk across the stage after finishing four years at a local college.

It’s graduation week and there’s a buzz of anticipation in the air at Eckerd College. The ceremony is just about to begin and members of this class are too excited to sit or speak.

But this is not your normal graduating class

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StateImpact Florida
10:53 am
Mon May 11, 2015

As Florida Reduces Testing, Teacher Evaluation Questions Remain

Broward Teachers Union president Sharon Glickman, with Broward County schools superintendent Robert Runcie, calling for changes to the teacher evaluation system in October.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Several large Florida schools districts say they will use state test scores to evaluate those teachers. That means some art, music or gym teachers will be judged based on their students’ scores on the state reading test.

“In some cases teachers are definitely not happy with it,” said Sharon Glickman, president of Broward Teachers Union. “And to a certain extent we’re not either. But it’s the best of, I hate to say it, two evils.”

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Education
11:07 am
Mon May 4, 2015

It Takes A 'Forest' To Feed An Elementary School

The young crops in Kelsey Pharr Elementary School's 'food forest."
Credit John O'Connor / WLRN

Rain is terrible when you’re trying to give tours of your new garden.

But it’s great for the spinach, sweet potato and purple passion fruit rapidly taking root.

On a very rainy day, Kelsey Pharr Elementary third graders Ronnield Luna and Jeffrey Arroyo are showing grownups around what used to be a grass field.

Now the school in Miami’s Brownsville neighborhood has several thousand square feet of all kinds of fruit and vegetables.

Some you can find at your supermarket.

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Education
11:30 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Florida School Districts Halt Testing Amid New Problems

Credit Extra Ketchup / Flickr

Florida school districts across the state were forced Monday to halt the latest round of state standardized testing amid renewed problems with the online system used to administer the test.

The vendor hired by the state to carry out Florida's new high-stakes test blamed the technical issues on "human error" and apologized. Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said that the company, American Institutes for Research, had made unapproved changes to the testing system over the weekend.

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Education
3:17 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

New College Program Wants To Train Young Artists And Designers

A storyboard created by a student in Broward College's Visual Arts and Design Academy.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

A new program at Broward College has just eight students and seeks to train the next generation of South Florida artists and designers.

The school hopes to earn a national certification for the Visual Arts and Design Academy this spring – becoming the first community college in the South to have that.

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Education
5:38 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Required Financial Literacy Course Gets Second Chance in Florida Senate

The Florida Council on Economic Education says personal bankruptcies have increased 2200 percent in the last 40 years. That’s one reason why the council is leading a campaign called Require The Money Course
Credit Trianons Oficial/flickr

Bills filed in the Florida House and Senate would require high school students to take a one-semester financial literacy course. But with just three weeks left in the legislative session, the proposals (House bill 29 and Senate bill 92)  haven’t been discussed by committees.

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StateImpact Florida
9:49 am
Mon April 6, 2015

A Q & A With The University Of Florida's New President

W. Kent Fuchs is the new president of the University of Florida. During his time at Cornell University, he helped establish a New York City campus.
Credit Cornell University

Three months ago W. Kent Fuchs became president of the University of Florida, leaving New York’s Cornell University.

Fuchs says Florida universities are adding new faculty, but opposition to higher tuition means more pressure to find private donations.

The University of Florida is also expanding a new online program, with a goal of eventually enrolling 24,000 students.

Fuchs sat down with WLRN’s StateImpact Florida reporter John O’Connor to talk about the issues in higher education.

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Education
6:11 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Financial Literacy Bill Dies, Sponsor Optimistic For Pilot Program

A bill mandating stand-alone financial literacy instruction has died.

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 5:16 pm

Florida high school students already get instruction on financial literacy before graduating, but a popular House bill would have made it a stand-alone, required class.  The measure won’t be moving forward despite a long and bipartisan list of co-sponsors.

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Education
7:47 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Despite Problems, Experts Say Computerized Testing Is The Answer For Florida Schools

Despite problems with Florida's new exam, testing experts say the state's emphasis on digital lessons mean schools should use computerized testing.

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 6:23 am

Testing experts say so far Florida's problems with its new statewide exam, the Florida Standards Assessments, are likely not serious enough for the state to consider throwing out this year’s test scores.

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Education
1:32 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Alternative Spring Break - On the Mexico Border

The U.S./Mexico border fence.
Credit Quincy Walters / WUSF News

Spring break for college students is often a time to head to the beach, or relax. However, I decided to spend my vacation differently. 

Each year, USF's Bulls Service Breaks sends students on various trips with the intent of raising social awareness--public health, gang prevention and immigration to name a few. 

I went on the immigration trip. 

Our group (11 of us) went to McAllen, Texas--a border town.  

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Education
12:40 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

House Passes Bill To Reduce Class Size Penalties

Voters approved the class size amendment in 2002. Florida lawmakers are charged with implementing - and funding - the amendment. It limits the number of students per class to 18 through 3rd grade, 22 in 4th - 8th grade, and 25 in high school.

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 7:17 am

School districts are likely to face fewer penalties for violating class-size requirements under a bill that passed the Florida House Friday on a vote of 107 - 3.

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Education
5:08 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Public Education Changes Approved by Fl House

Charter schools would get more construction funding, class-size penalties would be relaxed and school districts would be encouraged to enact dress codes under a series of education bills approved Friday by the Florida House.

Most of the school-related bills were passed in lopsided votes, though Democrats united to oppose a measure that could funnel local tax dollars to charter-school construction (HB 7037).

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