12:15 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Jeb Bush Taking Florida Education Ideas Nationwide

Joe Raedle Getty News Images

You won't find much that President Obama and Mitt Romney agree on, but both parties' presidential candidates have praised former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's education ideas.

Bush is taking ideas he pioneered in Florida national, particularly requiring third graders pass a state reading test before graduating to fourth grade.

It's one reason Indiana education superintendent Tony Bennett says Bush is the most influential person in U.S. education.

5:04 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Teachers Sound Off About Merit Pay

Hillsborough County teacher Robert Pierce says he's opting out of his school's merit pay system -- for now.

"I'll be honest with you. I don't participate. I think it's a double-edged sword," he said.

But he soon won't have any choice. Lawmakers have mandated merit pay in every Florida school district by 2014.

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4:42 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Two Tampa-area Students Win National STEM Video Game Challenge

Two Tampa Bay-area student have been named winners in the National STEM Video Game Challenge.

It’s a competition to motivate interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by learning, playing and making video games.

Twenty-eight middle school and high school students from across the U.S. were selected as winners for their original game designs.

Shashank Mahesh won in the middle school division for “Mission 17639: Planetcorp.” He lives in Gibsonton.

And Daniel Gasiorek of Riverview won in the high school division for “ViViD ABYSS.”

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6:56 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

The Things You Don't Learn in College About Teaching

WUSF reporter-and college student- Yoselis Ramos attended the American Graduate program as an aspiring teacher.

Teachers are facing increasing pressure about merit pay, the constantly-evolving FCAT, and students facing tough times at home.

Some Florida teachers voiced their hopes and frustrations as part of a town hall meeting which is set to air Thursday May 24 on WUSF TV.  It's part of our "American Graduate" project, which promotes success in high school and beyond.

I went to the town hall meeting as both a reporter and as a college student who's trying to decide whether to become a teacher.

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5:22 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Tampa Prep's "Mr. Man": Music Shows No Color

WUSF intern Drew Alexander in the news studio.
Bobbie O'Brien

Lots of folks will tell you they have at least one teacher who affected them in a positive way on into adulthood.

Maybe that teacher taught you something that was not necessarily part of the normal curriculum. Such is the case with Drew Alexander, a WUSF intern, and his music teacher at Tampa Preparatory High School.

If you were to walk by the music room on the bottom floor of Tampa Prep, you’re likely to hear teacher Lyle Manwaring stepping out a rhythm for his students or playing his trumpet.

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4:17 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Florida Polytechnic Committee Has More Questions Than Answers

The Select Committee on the new Florida Polytechnic University met Wednesday for the first time. It's likely the transition details will not be completed by the July 1 deadline.

After the creation of Florida Polytechnic, a select committee now has to figure out the details of the transition. But the committee has more questions than answers.

The main problem: Florida Polytechnic still doesn't have a Board of Trustees.

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12:28 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

State Education Commissioner to Defend FCAT in Tampa

All the talk about falling scores on Florida's FCAT tests has prompted the state's education chief to hold a series of public forums. The first one will be in Tampa tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Hillsborough Community College.

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University Beat
8:30 am
Tue May 22, 2012

USF Launches Pre-College Program

USF isn’t just launching one summer program for high school and homeschool students, but thirteen different programs. University Beat on WUSF 89.7 has a preview of the new Pre-College 2012 initiative, which is designed to get young people interested early in both college and future careers. 

University Beat
6:00 am
Mon May 21, 2012

USF Opens New Center for Diplomacy

Mohsen Milani, Exec. Dir. of USF's new Center for Strategic & Diplomatic Studies
USF Dept. of Government & Intl. Affairs

The University of South Florida's brand new Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies holds its first official event Monday night, as it welcomes British journalist Christopher de Bellaigue.

The Center unites experts from the academic, government, military and private worlds to discuss how the United States' foreign and domestic policies interact.

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3:22 pm
Sat May 12, 2012

Weatherford: Online Universities Key to Increasing Florida’s College Graduates

Florida’s next House Speaker says increasing the number of college graduates will require online universities.

Online schools won’t replace traditional universities, Rep. Will Weatherford said, but make higher education more accessible and affordable.

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6:43 am
Thu May 10, 2012

"Cone of Shame" Dog Collar Used to Discipline Florida Students

Pasco County School Board

A Florida teacher is facing dismissal for punishing her students by making them wear a plastic cone around their neck and head.

You know the collar -- it's what veterinarians put on dogs to keep them from licking themselves.

It's also the collar featured in the Pixar animated film "Up." The character Dug is forced to wear "the cone of shame" for being disobedient.

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7:37 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Looking for Polytechnic Trustees, Florida Residency Not Needed

Gov. Rick Scott addressing a crowd after the end of the 2012 legislature.
Florida House of Representatives

Florida is looking for a few good trustees for its new public university, Florida Polytechnic in Lakeland. The state's twelfth university was created by the legislature and approved by the governor April 20th, 2012.

Late Monday, the governor's office sent out a press release calling for a national search for potential trustees and state residency is not a requirement as the press release points out:

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12:20 pm
Sun May 6, 2012

In-School Suspension: a Better Alternative or Waste of Time?

Keisha Campbell, a sixth grader at Norland Middle School, says her 10-day in-school suspension was a waste of time.
Sarah Gonzalez / StateImpact Florida

There is a place on school campuses for students who break the rules.

In some Florida schools, it’s called SCSI.

Marcus Pryor, a junior at Miami Northwestern Senior High, thinks it stands for School Criminal Scene Investigation.

SCSI actually stands for School Center for Special Instruction. And in Miami, it’s where students go when they get an in-school suspension.

It’s an alternative to out-of-school suspension. Florida schools can use for offenses considered minor, like consistent tardiness, wearing baggy clothing or cutting class.

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11:50 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Despite the Frustration, Deciding to Be a Teacher

USF student Yoselis Ramos attended the American Graduate taping as an aspiring teacher.

Yoselis Ramos isn’t very good at math. She admits as much.

So why, then, does she want to be a math teacher?

“I’m pretty stubborn and I’m not a person who quits,” she says.

The USF sophomore recently joined a group of Hillsborough County teachers on a bus trip to Jacksonville. They were part of a television town-hall meeting of teachers from across Florida sponsored by the American Graduate project.

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6:18 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Sen. Nelson: Keep Student Loan Interest Rates Low

Photo Credit: Matthew Gil

If Congress doesn't take any action, current student interest rates will double by July 1st. Senator Bill Nelson visited the University of South Florida Tampa campus Thursday to talk with students on how it would affect them.

Keeping the current interest rate at 3.4 percent for one more year will cost the federal government $6 billion and Congress can't agree where to get the funds from.

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