Education

We're dedicated to telling you stories about policy and public spending, and how they affect students in Florida schools. Our WUSF News reporters team up with our public media partners in South Florida to bring you a more comprehensive look at learning.

Our longtime education coverage also includes work as part of StateImpact Florida. You can see prior coverage from that project here.

Laura Spence

When kids gaze up at the moon -- many dream about becoming astronauts. But how many look to the sea for similar inspiration?

The ocean covers more than seventy percent of the planet's surface and less than five percent of it has been studied.  But at least one submarine pilot is working to motivate a new generation of ocean explorers.

At a Pinellas County summer camp -- middle school girls learn about marine technology.   

2017 Teacher Of The Year From Polk County

Jul 15, 2016

A third grade math teacher from Polk County is 2017’s Florida Teacher of the Year.

Florida First Lady Ann Scott and Gov. Rick Scott made the announcement Thursday night at the annual awards ceremony in Orlando.

Jessica Solano is an educator at Highlands Grove Elementary School in Lakeland.

Florida Releases School Grades For 2016

Jul 8, 2016

Florida has released its annual report card for the state’s public schools.

The number of F-rated schools in the state dropped but there were also fewer A-rated schools.

Florida Not Immune To National Teacher Shortage Crisis

Jun 27, 2016
Cathy Carter

Florida is home to some of the country's largest school districts but according to a report from the Florida Department of Education, it doesn't have enough teachers.

That means school districts are coming up with new ways to fill vacancies.

Madeleine Meran lost her temper in school and wound up getting suspended from North Miami Beach Senior High School.

Her punishment: 10 days at a Success Center – a site set up by the Miami-Dade County school system to give kids a place to go when they misbehave instead of simply kicking them out of school.

State Judge Rules On Sarasota 'Best And Brightest' Challenge

Jun 14, 2016

A Sarasota school speech pathologist asking for a statewide teaching bonus has earned support from an administrative judge.

Cordelia Brown works at Brentwood Elementary School and scored in the top 20th percentile when she took her SAT test.

Even so, the district denied her eligibility for a bonus from the state's "Best and Brightest" program, saying she wasn't a classroom teacher.

These bonuses are awarded on the basis of college admissions results.

Brown says one of the reasons she moved to Florida was because of the state's scholarship program.

Robin Sussingham

You hear a lot of bad news about Florida's agriculture industry. Competition from foreign markets, labor shortages, insects, the loss of farmland to development. And most seriously, the disease of citrus greening, which has devastated Florida's signature crop.

But surprisingly, young people aren't shying away from agriculture education in their schools. In fact, participation is at record highs.

Thursday marked the last day of class at Manatee County’s Duette Elementary School - literally. It’s the end of an era as the one-room school house in the farming community about 40 miles outside of Bradenton closes for the last time.  Duette is the last one-room school house in Florida and had been one of only 27 left operating in the U.S.

Last month the Obama Administration sent a letter to school districts threatening to pull federal funding if they do not allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.

When Rishi Nair triumphed at the 2016 National Geographic Bee in May, he also won the hearts of mothers everywhere by grabbing the microphone and thanking his own mother, calling her a “great lady.”

On Wednesday, Nair’s classmates at Williams Middle Magnet School in Tampa celebrated with cupcakes as they watched a TV clip from the finals.

At the event, Nair said his path to glory started with the basics: U.S. capitals, currency and longest rivers.

Demorris Lee

The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts Wednesday.

On average, 11 named tropical storms, six hurricanes, and two major hurricanes could happen during any given season.

During emergencies, Pinellas County assigns administrators to shelter sites.

Students in the Center for Advanced Technologies at Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg have created a website to help the district keep track of shelter assignments and manage communications during emergencies.

Rebecca Hale/National Geographic

A Hillsborough County 6th grader is the winner of the 2016  National Geographic Bee.

Rishi Nair, 12, of Seffner is officially an expert on maps, borders, culture and history.

Daylina Miller/WUSF

How do you teach kids about ecology when the natural world is shrinking around them?

In fast growing Florida, one solution is to take environmental studies outside the walls of a classroom.

Mort Elementary School is one of Tampa’s lowest-performing elementary schools situated in one the most troubled neighborhoods in Hillsborough County.

In 25 years though, officials are hoping it will be a model of success.

The Obama administration issued guidance to schools Friday, saying they must allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

The administration acknowledges this is "new terrain" for some people and says it wants to help school districts avoid running afoul of civil rights laws.

To Get Kids To Breakfast, Schools Try Take-Out

May 9, 2016

Walk into any classroom at Deerfield Beach Middle School and you won’t have trouble spotting the students who missed breakfast. “They’re the ones who are antsy during first and second period,” said Principal Francine Baugh, “waiting for lunch to begin.”

Jayne Chapman

 Two years ago the Florida High School Athletic Association, or FHSAA, passed a wildly unpopular mandate, requiring girls lacrosse players to wear head gear. The organization said it was responding to concussion risks -- but critics say policy and public perception of risk are getting ahead of the actual data.

Recess every single day of the week: That's the rallying cry of four mothers lobbying Miami-Dade schools after a bill to require daily recess failed to make it out of the Legislature this year. The Miami Herald's Christina Veiga and WLRN's Rowan Moore Gerety talked with Debora Hertfelder, Louisa Conway, Kate Asturias and Victoria Kenny about why they think free time at school is so important.

Read Christina Veiga's story in the Miami Herald here.

High School Costs Are Far More Than A Pretty Penny

Apr 24, 2016
Cathy Carter/WUSF

 Elissia LaPorte is standing in front of a large full length mirror underneath a hand-painted sign that says "Hello Gorgeous."

The senior who attends Tampa's Leto High School is shopping for a prom dress at the Belle of the Ball boutique in Clearwater, which has close to 4,000 gowns on display.

LaPorte has already tried on several and after she picks her favorite, she won't have to pay for it.  

Scott Signs Education Plan That Expands Choice

Apr 15, 2016
Pixabay.com

A wide-ranging education bill dealing with everything from funding for high-performing universities to school membership in athletic associations was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Rick Scott.

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