Education

Education
11:15 am
Thu March 8, 2012

High Tech Orlando Reading Program Helps Those Struggling Most

Reading teacher Audra Cervi says kids pay attention to their reading lesson when the letter ‘J’ turns into a jumping, blue 3-D jaguar.

Cervi places a flash card with the letter J under a special camera. Across the room a jaguar springs to life on an electronic screen.

A small group of kindergartners at Audubon Park Elementary School near Orlando squeal at the sight. Some reach out to grab the critter.

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Education
5:30 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Pinellas School Board Wants To Close School With Scientology Ties

Interim Pinellas school superintendent John Stewart recommended closing Life Force Arts and Technology Academy.
Pinellas County schools

Bonnie Harvin says her 11-year-old daughter is doing well at Life Force Arts and Technology Academy in Clearwater.

“She’s a straight A student,” says Harvin. “Her FCAT scores are above grade level. So yes, I do think she has improves. A lot”

But Pinellas County school board members say the evidence to close Life Force is “overwhelming.” The charter school is in bankruptcy, it changed its curriculum without permission and it’s failing to serve students with disabilities.

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Education
4:00 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

USF Budget Deal Could Mean Higher Tuition

USF Pres. Judy Genshaft

Just three weeks ago, the University of South Florida was confronted with a $128 million cut in funding at its Tampa campus. That proposed 60 percent budget reduction is now down to 21 percent for USF/Tampa which President Judy Genshaft said is fair and in line with universities of similar size.

The question for the universities is how to make up for the budget shortfall. One solution lawmakers took off the table - they did not approve tuition increases to make up for the funding reduction.

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USF Poly
9:13 am
Fri March 2, 2012

USF Poly Puts Staff, Student Recruitment On Hold

Polk County Sen. JD Alexander is pushing legislation that would turn USF Poly into a 12th state university.
Phil Coale Associated Press

The University of South Florida Polytechnic is not recruiting faculty or students while lawmakers debate the school's future, its interim regional chancellor told The Lakeland Ledger.

From the story:

It's not an atmosphere under which a quality academic staff can be drawn in, said Touchton  "We just feel like we need to wait and see what happens."  Advertisements ­previously posted for various open positions have been discontinued.

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Education
4:30 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

USF Students, Head Trustee Protest Budget Cuts

USF is facing a budget cut of around 20 percent. That could affect everything from summer school to the operation of the new pharmacy college.

Senate budget chief JD Alexander is says USF should dip into its reserve fund to offset the cuts. But USF Board of Trustees Chairman John Ramil says the university can't do that.

It's mandated to set aside a percentage of its budget - and it has to keep cash on hand for an emergency, such as a hurricane.

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Education
2:31 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

USF: We're Number...Four?

The Florida Board of Governors has just announced that student enrollment in the state's universities is up three percent from last year.

But there's are three exceptions to that growth -- FAMU, University of Florida, and the biggest drop of all -- the University of South Florida, which lost almost one percent of enrollment.

That means USF is no longer the 3rd largest university in Florida -- it's fourth, behind University of Central Florida (up four percent!), UF, Florida International University, and then USF.

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School Grades
12:15 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Union Leader: Parent Trigger And School Grade Changes A “Land Grab”

Hillsborough County Classroom Teachers Association president Jean Clements.
Hillsborough County Classroom Teachers Association

Hillsborough County Classroom Teachers Association president Jean Clements says dual efforts to toughen Florida's school grading system and approve a law allowing a majority of parents to choose how to restructure their child's failing school amount to an education land grab for private business.

Clements' op-ed was published on the Washington Post's Answer Sheet blog.

Clements argues Florida Department of Education is changing its grade standards with the intention of failing more schools. The agency argues raising standards will compel schools to find ways to improve.

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Education
11:10 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Another School Bus Crash in Manatee County

We've just received word that eight children have been injured, none seriously, in a bus crash in Manatee County this morning.

This comes less than two months after another big school bus accident in Manatee County that injured 23 students.

Which leads to the question - is this just bad luck for Manatee County bus drivers, or is there some sort of training they need?

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Education
4:39 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

USF College of Pharmacy Dean: We Need Full $6 Million

Dr. Kevin Sneed, dean of the College of Pharmacy.

Students and faculty at the USF School of Pharmacy told the media today that $3 million is not enough.

The Florida Senate originally proposed a $6 million cut to the USF College of Pharmacy, but later reinstated half of it.

The dean of USF's College of Pharmacy, Dr. Kevin Sneed, is working to get back the original whole amount.

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Homeless Students
3:59 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Clermont Struggles With Homeless Students

Seminole County's Austin and Arielle Metzger discuss living in a truck with '60 Minutes' Scott Pelley.
60 Minutes

The Associated Press has a terrific profile out on a homeless student in Lake County, the latest in a series of stories using Florida as the face of the Great Recession.

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Education
6:10 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

USF President Judy Genshaft on tuition, the Big East, and CAMLS

In the last few weeks, USF President Judy Genshaft found herself in the fight of her career, taking on powerful lawmakers who wanted to slash USF's budget and make USF's branch campus in Lakeland into an independent school.

Florida Matters had a chance to talk with President Genshaft recently while she was in the middle of the budget fight. We've reported on that before.

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Education
12:32 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Schools Get Creative to Try to Boost FCAT Scores

Hagen Road Elementary school principal wants parents to tell kids they will be getting a "special snack" before the test that will boost brain power.
Courtesy of South Florida Sun Sentinel

The latest Florida Department of Education ranks  Palm Beach County's Hagen Elementary School a "B" school.

But teachers there want to improve performance on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test or FCAT and they are even willing to resort to a white lie,  says the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

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School Grades
2:37 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

7 Questions About Florida's New School Grading System -- Answered

Got a question about proposed changes to Florida's school grading system? We've got answers.
Leo Reynolds Flickr

Florida's Board of Education is meeting tomorrow to debate changing the state's school grading system. The proposal has drawn criticism from educators and parents -- particularly a proposal to include students with disabilities in the formula.

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Education
1:01 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Genshaft: I'm Bullish on the Big East

USF President Judy Genshaft

Yes, it was only a game. And with just one miss from freshman point guard Anthony Collins, it could have easily gone the other way.

But it was hard not to see the 46-45 win by USF over Cincinnati this weekend in the larger context of USF's recent budget fights.

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Education
9:08 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Alexander: I Don't Enjoy Getting Into It Like This

Senator JD Alexander

A bill to grant immediate independence to a new university in Polk County generated some passionate debate from its sponsor, Senate budget chief JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales.

With his voice cracking with emotion, Alexander again criticized USF President Judy Genshaft for what he called dragging her feet on creating Florida Polytechnic, which would be the state’s 12th university.

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