StateImpact Florida
11:49 am
Wed December 18, 2013

StateImpact Florida: Removing the KKK From a School's Name

Soon to have a new name

Forrest High was originally named for Nathan Bedford Forrest—the Civil War general and first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. The issue divided Jacksonville for decades.

Last June, a group of education advocates from Jacksonville’s African American community gathered around a table at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church to discuss education disparities. Aleta Alston-Toure expressed her frustration at what she sees as institutional racism.

"Duval County has a school where the Klu Klux Klan is still the title of that high school", Alston-Toure said. "And that school is? Forrest."

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5:34 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Jacksonville School Board Rejects KKK-Affiliated School Name

Nathan Bedford Forrest
Credit Wikimedia Commons

After more than a half century of controversy, Nathan B. Forrest High School in Jacksonville is looking for a new name.

In 1959, Forrest High was named for Nathan Bedford Forrest—the Civil War general and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

But Monday night, on the recommendation of Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, the Duval County School Board voted unanimously to rename the high school.

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10:18 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Florida School Named After KKK Grand Wizard Will Get New Name

Confederate general Nathan B. Forrest.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 1:53 pm

After decades of blistering debate about the balance between honoring Southern history and glorifying slavery and white supremacy, the Duval County School Board in Jacksonville, Fla., voted unanimously on Monday to rename Nathan B. Forrest High School.

Forrest is a polarizing figure from the Civil War era. Forrest was considered a succesful and fearless general, but it was also Forrest and his men who, after overpowering Union forces in Fort Pillow, near Memphis, went on to execute black soldiers after they had surrendered.

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3:22 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

StateImpact Florida: Why Arts Education is Important

Students who are struggling in school take fewer art classes than their peers in Florida. And arts education advocates are concerned that high-stakes testing creates obstacles for would-be artists. A proposed bill would make schools more accountable for their arts programming.

The students from Miami’s Design and Architecture Senior High—DASH—are on a bus ride to Art Basel and Design Miami—two of the giant international art shows that descend on South Florida every December.

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StateImpact Florida
2:02 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Florida High School Graduation Rates Continue To Rise

Florida's graduation rate has risen for the seventh consecutive year.
Credit Kentigern / Flickr

Florida’s high school graduation rate increased for the seventh consecutive year, according to new data from the Florida Department of Education. The percentage of students earning a high school diploma increased to 75.6 percent during the 2012-2013 school year, up from 74.5 percent the previous year.

Graduation rates improved for every racial subgroup, except Asian-Americans, whose rate remained the highest at 88.4 percent.

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1:50 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Florida A&M Probation Lifted

Florida A&M University is no longer on probation.

The school  has been taken off the probation imposed a year ago in the wake of a marching band member's hazing death, ending the threat of a serious blow to the school's academic reputation.

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StateImpact Florida
8:32 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Changing GED Adds New Problems To An Old Test

Uzelea Evans, right, and Cynthia Williams, left, talk with GED teacher Travis McGinnis at Metropolitan Ministries. The GED is changing in January, and McGinnis said his students have been planning since September whether to take the old test or the new GED.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Uzelea Evans has had a tough run recently.

Her unemployment payments have been hung up for six weeks because of the state’s new online system.

And the mother to two lost her Tampa housing and has to move out next month.

But she’s working hard toward some good news in a classroom at Metropolitan Ministries – passing the GED exam.

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7:03 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Florida Polytechnic University Opens Its First Building

COO Ava Parker holds opening remarks on the opening of the admissions center.
Yoselis Ramos WUSF

Florida Polytechnic University is still a work in progress. Travelers can see the iconic innovation, science and technology (IST) building from Interstate 4, just east of Lakeland. It's not done, but the admissions center building is open to the public.

Prospective students are able to register for tours online. Florida Poly Chief Operating Officer Ava Parker says this building brings the brochure to life.

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StateImpact Florida
10:15 am
Mon December 2, 2013

In Immokalee, Parents Promise To Speak Spanish With Their Children

Immokalee Community School offers classes to help parents encourage bilingual children.

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:09 am

To get into Florida colleges and universities you have to have studied — or be ab

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10:18 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Murrow Award Entry Continuing Coverage: Common Core

This is a compilation of StateImpact Florida's coverage of the ongoing debate over Florida's Common Core math and language arts standards.

What Common Core Standards Mean For Media Specialists --

Common Core Opponents Having Little Success In Florida – So Far --

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12:05 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

What Children’s Authors Make Of Common Core And Education Policy

Miami Book Fair International brought more than four dozen children’s authors to Florida over the weekend
Credit Sammy Mack / StateImpact Florida

More than four dozen contemporary young adult and children’s authors were in Florida over the weekend for Miami Book Fair International.

As Common Core State Standards for English and language arts are putting a national spotlight on what kids read in class, many of those authors are thinking about the way literature is taught in school—and how that’s changing.

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StateImpact Florida
12:22 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Florida Superintendents Want Three-Year Extension To Prepare For New Standards

Florida school superintendents are asking for an additional three years to prepare for the Common Core State Standards and accompanying testing.
Credit Earls37a / Flickr

Florida school superintendents are asking for three additional years to fully switch to math, English and literacy standards known as Common Core.

Florida is one of 45 states to adopt the standards, which outline what students should know at the end of each grade.

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StateImpact Florida
12:30 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

School Funding, Teacher Evaluations Key Issues Early in Governor's Race

Charlie Crist is seeking the governor's office as a Democrat after once holding the post as a Republican. He's been leaning on education issues early to mark differences with Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Charlie Crist has to close a sale.

The one-time Republican governor now wants to become governor as a Democrat.

But he needs to convince Democrats he’s now one of them if he has any chance of challenging Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

It's why Crist is talking about his education record during the early days of the campaign -- especially his 2009 decision to accept federal stimulus money.

That money ensured teachers stayed on the job, Crist said at his campaign announcement earlier this month in St. Petersburg.

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StateImpact Florida
2:51 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Former Florida Schools Chief Tony Bennett Facing Indiana Ethics Complaint

Former Florida education commissioner Tony Bennett.
Credit Gina Jordan / StateImpact Florida

Indiana’s Inspector General has filed an ethics complaint against former Florida education commissioner Tony Bennett for using state computers for campaign business in 2010.

The Associated Press reported documents showed Bennett had kept a database of campaign donors on state computers and had asked staff to parse campaign speeches by Democratic opponent Glenda Ritz:

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StateImpact Florida
5:15 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Criser Is The Finalist To Lead Florida University System

Marshall Criser III is likely to become the next Florida university system chancellor.
Credit University of Florida

He was always the favorite, and now Marshall Criser III is the finalist to become the next Florida university system chancellor.

Criser was one of four finalists interviewed by the search committee Tuesday. The panel unanimously chose Criser.

Criser is the president of AT&T of Florida and has a long history in state higher education. He's a trustee at the University of Florida (a position he'll resign if he becomes chancellor) and has served on the Higher Education Coordinating Council.

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