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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12:22 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

How Florida Kids Learn About Sea-Level Rise

Nicholas Ogle will replant the mangrove propagules collected by MAST students.
Credit Daniel Rivera, Student

Standing at the water’s edge on Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay campus, Nicholas Ogle shows a crowd of teenagers what looks like a giant, rotten green bean.

“We don’t want any mushiness anywhere, especially at the top,” he says, then chucks the specimen to the side.

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9:19 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Florida Scores On National Test Improve, But Eighth Graders Still Trail National Average

Florida students improved their scores on all four sections of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, but eighth graders still trail the national average.
Credit Breakthrough Miami

Florida student scores improved on a key national standardized test, including some of the largest eighth grade reading and math gains in the country.

But Florida eighth graders still trail the national average in math, according to results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as The Nation’s Report Card.

Florida eighth graders scored an average of 281, on a 500-point scale, in math and 266 in reading. The national average was 284 in math and 266 in reading.

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2:20 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Benefits, and Barriers, to Early Learning in Florida

Every morning, children at Education Station begin the day with a hug and a book.
Sammy Mack StateImpact Florida

Florida’s legislative session is months away, but educators and politicians are already talking about making early childhood education a priority.


“Early childhood is viewed as childcare, and not early childhood education, which it really is,” says Dr. Susan Neimand, director of the School of Education at Miami Dade College, which runs a nationally recognized early learning center called Education Station.

“We know that the brain starts developing from the time the child is in the womb—and the proper attention for that is not given,” says Neimand.

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