2:58 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Tampa Bay Counties Partner with Germany for Student Apprentice Program

State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is briefed on AMskills.
Credit M.S. Butler

Not every high school student wants to or even needs to go to college, but graduating students without a college degree may have a hard time gaining entry or experience at companies hiring for high paying, high skilled jobs. A local program is trying to bring that experience to graduating students.

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4:54 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

'ReadyRosie' Helps Parents Create Teaching Moments

ReadyRosie gives parents ideas for filling the daily routine with teachable moments.
Credit Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County


It's been said that a parent is a child's first teacher.

That's the point behind the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County's 'ReadyRosie' program. Parents and caregivers subscribe and get daily emails with videos explaining how to incorporate reading and math into the daily routine.

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12:53 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Tampa Bay Program Helps Fifth Graders Make Sense of Their Financial Futures

Enterprise Avenue contains the banking, shopping and dining destinations for students visiting Enterprise Village.
Credit M.S. Butler

The first time some students learn about finances is during a high school economics class. Others learn by trial and error, but one program in the Tampa Bay area already has a  history of helping  students get an early start on making sense of their finances.

Here in central Pinellas County, just like any community in America, it’s early morning and everyone is beginning to show up for work.

Buses are unloading and students are heading  to  businesses like Verizon, Duke Energy and CVS Pharmacy which are getting ready to open.

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5:13 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

How Jeb Bush's Education Record Will Change The 2016 Republican Primary

Former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 10:14 am

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush became a Republican presidential candidate Monday.

Education has been a signature issue for Bush. He helped start Florida’s first charter school. He says schools and teachers should be judged on student performance. He pushed for vouchers for private schools.

And he spent most of his time since leaving the Florida governor’s office advocating for his brand of school reform.

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3:21 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

Florida Lawmakers Closing In On School Funding Agreement

The Senate has proposed a 3 percent increase in school spending, but will the House accept?

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 6:26 am

Florida lawmakers are getting closer to a budget deal that will add more money for schools.

Florida schools would get $207 more per student if the Florida House agrees to a Senate education budget, or $7,097 per pupil.

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2:37 pm
Sun June 7, 2015

Fine Arts Museum Bringing Students, Ancient Worlds Together

St. Petersburg Museium of Fine Arts docent Tina Douglass shares the story behind an African elephant mask with sixth graders from Clearwater's Oak Grove Middle School.
Mary Shedden/WUSF

It’s just a few dozen yards from the charter busses to the stately columns of the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts entrance.

Dozens of energetic 12- and 13-years olds jump off the bus after a 25-minute ride from their Clearwater’s Oak Grove Middle School.

Volunteer docents scramble to sort out small groups by color, and hand out clipboards and pencils.

“Purple, nice straight line!” one docent yells from the top of the steps.

“Green group over here,” another barks.

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6:56 pm
Mon June 1, 2015

How The Internet Is Helping FL Students Pay For Their Education

Ashley Jean has enrolled in a global studies program at Long Island University. Now she's trying to raise money to help pay for travel costs.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Ashley Jean is graduating from Miami’s iPrep Academy this week. And then she’s planning to travel the world.

Jean will start a global studies program through Long Island University that will eventually take her to places like Costa Rica, Australia, Bali and Spain.

That’s a lot of plane tickets.

“I don’t want money to be a reason why I can’t change my life,” Jean says, “so I have to work hard to do what I can to get this program.”

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4:16 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Ex-School Boss Elia Lands Job as NY Education Commissioner

Former Hillsborough Co. School Supt. MaryEllen Elia has been named New York's Commissioner of Education

Former Hillsborough County School Superintendent MaryEllen Elia has been appointed New York education commissioner.

The New York Board of Regents voted unanimously Tuesday to hire Elia as Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York (USNY) at a salary of $250,000 a year.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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