Education

Education
9:50 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Florida's Teacher Union Says Scholarship Program Is Unconstitutional

The Florida Education Association is challenging the state's private school tax credit scholarship program in court.

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 10:14 pm

When Florida first approved its private school tax credit scholarship program in 2001, Florida Education Association attorney Ron Meyer said education groups questioned the legality, but no one really objected to helping low-income students get out of low-performing schools.

But then the scholarship program started to grow. Lawmakers approved a law that automatically expanded the program each year. Then earlier this year lawmakers raised the income cap. Now, a family of four earning $62,000 can receive a partial scholarship.

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Education
9:44 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Florida Ready To Challenge Federal Testing Rules For Students Learning English

Gov. Rick Scott says he's giving the U.S. Department of Education 30 days to change their mind about testing requirements for students learning English or the state could head to court.
Credit John O'Connor / Flickr

Gov. Rick Scott is ready to take the federal government to court over testing rules for students learning English.

The U.S. Department of Education says Florida must count those students’ results after one year in school. Scott and Florida educators want to give students two years to learn English.

Scott said Education Commissioner Pam Stewart will send a letter asking the U.S. Department of Education to reconsider testing rules for students learning English. If they don’t change their mind in 30 days, Scott said the state could go to court.

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Education
6:13 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Undocumented Students Get Help With In-State Tuition

Undocumented students blanketed the halls of the Capitol last spring pushing a law that grants them in-state tuition.

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 6:30 am

As colleges and universities begin the fall semester, some undocumented students are paying the same tuition rate as Florida residents.

A handful of schools like Miami Dade College have been doing this for a while, but now the cheaper tuition is being offered statewide.

A law that went into effect July 1st grants in-state tuition to those who meet certain requirements.

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Education
10:39 am
Mon August 25, 2014

StateImpact Florida Essay: What A Teacher Score Doesn’t Tell Us

Teachers get a number score with the state's value-added model
Credit Flickr

I finally know my worth as a teacher—and now that the “value-added model” scores mandated by our state legislature are public, everyone else knows, too.

I’m a 37.5.

But, I have no idea what that number means.

Along with my 37.5, I was told I’m “highly effective” and given a $230 bonus. In case you’re wondering, that’s about half what the average teacher spends of his or her own money on school supplies per year.

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Education
11:32 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Florida School Districts Preparing For Central American Immigrants

More than 120 Honduran students have enrolled in Miami Jackson Senior High School the past two years. Schools across Florida are expecting thousands of immigrants from Central America -- many traveling without their parents -- this school year.

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:24 am

Jessica Gaspar was born in the U.S. and grew up speaking English at school -- but at home, she speaks Q'anjob'al.

That’s the Mayan language spoken by her Guatemalan parents.

She said she and her brother struggled to practice their English once the school day ended. It's why Gaspar volunteers at a community center on a back street lined with body shops in Lake Worth.

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Education
12:01 am
Fri August 15, 2014

University System Chancellor Wants Students to Graduate Sooner

Marshall Criser III, Chancellor of the State University System of Florida
Credit State University System of Florida

College students in Florida need to graduate more quickly while chasing degrees in fields where jobs exist, according to the Chancellor of the State University System of Florida.

Marshall Criser III has led the nation’s second largest university system since January of 2014.

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Education
11:01 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Taking a Tour of the New Florida Polytechnic University

Steve Newborn WUSF News

Florida's 12th university opens to the public Saturday with the grand opening of Florida Polytechnic U. More than 550 students are expected for the first day of class on August 25th. The Lakeland campus is the state's first public university devoted to STEM - science, technology and mathematics.

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Education
4:00 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Q&A with Florida Polytechnic University President Randy Avent

President Randy Avent of Florida Polytechnic University
Credit Florida Polytechnic University

Saturday, Aug. 16, marks the grand opening for Florida's 12th university. Florida Polytechnic University, in Polk County, will offer a tuition-free STEM education to its inaugural class of about 550 students, who start class on Aug. 25.  President Randy Avent  sat down with WUSF's Robin Sussingham to talk about his vision for the university.

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StateImpact Florida
9:48 am
Mon August 4, 2014

How Florida Coding Camps Are Teaching Students Old-School Logic

CodeNow's Kareem Grant works with students during a June coding camp in Miami. Grant likes that coding requires disciplined thinking.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Ryan Seashore starts off every CodeNow workshop with a simple request: Write out step-by-step instructions for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Then a CodeNow teacher pretends to be a robot, and follows the students’ orders exactly as they’re written.

Students quickly find that asking a computer to perform an everyday task isn’t so easy.

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12:05 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Florida Ranks Third in Parents Snooping on Kids Online

Lead in text: 
Reasons for the sudden growth are unknown, said Ivory Thompson, operations manager at Retina-X, parent company of Mobile Spy. But one thing the company does know: 95 percent of South Florida parents surveyed said their children regularly access social media sites on smartphones. "In Florida, it just seems like a lot of families are worried about their children on social media sites, and they want to find out what they're doing," he said. "It could be that more kids are coming of age and getting a phone, or more parents are buying their kids phones, or it could just be product awareness."
South Florida parents are serious about keeping their kids safe online. In a recent survey by the mobile tracking software company Mobile Spy, Florida ranked third in the nation for the number of parents watching over their children's online activities- and the vast majority of them are in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, Mobile Spy officials said.
Education
1:46 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

A Q & A With Activist And Algebra Project Founder Bob Moses

Algebra Project founder Bob Moses
Credit miller_center / Flickr

Fifty years ago Bob Moses organized volunteers to register voters in Mississippi during the Freedom Summer.

And for decades, Moses has been fighting for civil rights as an educator.

He’s won a MacArthur Genius Grant to develop a new way to teach algebra in largely low-income and minority schools.

The Algebra Project shows students how to translate mathematics into common language and back — to simplify algebra.

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StoryCorps Tampa Bay
8:00 am
Mon July 21, 2014

StoryCorps Tampa Bay: Two Siblings, Two Schools, Two Stories

Lolita and Lou Brown
Credit StoryCorps

Lou and Lolita Brown are brother and sister, born about eight years apart - just a big enough separation to give them very different life experiences.

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StateImpact Florida
6:58 am
Mon July 21, 2014

What We Learned This Year Watching Schools Prepare For Florida’s New Standards

Darlene Paul, principal of West Defuniak Elementary, speaks to a student during a visit to a third-grade classroom. Paul says she has been impressed with the academic success of young students who have been taught only using the new Florida Standards.
Credit Jackie Mader / The Hechinger Report

For the past year The Hechinger Report and StateImpact Florida have taken you into two schools to hear what preparations for Florida’s new Common Core-based standards sound like. The standards outline what students should know in math and language arts. When classes start this fall every grade in every Florida public school will use them. But are schools ready?

The Hechinger Report’s Jackie Mader and StateImpact Florida’s John O’Connor tell us what they’ve learned.

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Education
2:12 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Florida Teachers Challenge Voucher Expansion

A Lee County social studies teacher and the state's main teachers union are filing a lawsuit to block a significant expansion of a private school voucher program.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in a Leon County circuit court contends that state legislators violated a requirement that bills cover only one subject. The Republican-controlled Legislature attached the voucher expansion to an unrelated bill on the final day of the 2014 session. They took that step because a stand-alone bill failed to get enough votes.

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Education
5:35 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Florida Students Talk About The State's Race-Based Education Standards

Credit Sammy Mack / StateImpact Florida

Students and civil rights activists are still asking Florida to hold black and Hispanic students to a higher standard.

It’s been a little more than a year since the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County filed a federal civil rights complaint against the state’s race-based academic goals.

There have since been a number of protests by activists who oppose lower expectations for minorities.

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