Education

Education
8:56 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Senate Approves In-State Tuition Rates for Undocumented Immigrants

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 10:08 am

The Florida Senate took a major step toward passage of a measure Thursday that would allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at Florida colleges and universities.  

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StateImpact Florida
1:39 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Explaining A $50 Million Jacksonville Effort To Recruit And Retain Top Teachers

Teach for America teachers Samantha Sanacore, Eric Sweeney and Denali Lander.
Credit Alicia Duplessis Jasmin / Flickr

Jacksonville-area businesses and nonprofits are trying to raise $50 million to help recruit and retain top teachers for three dozen of the district's most challenged schools.

The effort, known as Quality Education for All, is intended to help improve schools that have been the center of education-related lawsuits for decades.

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Education
8:50 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Learning With Disabilities: One Effort To Shake Up The Classroom

Samuel Habib, seen here at 3 years old, sits in his supportive corner chair in class. Samuel, who has cerebral palsy, is now 14 and is headed to high school. Dan Habib, Samuel's father, is an advocate for inclusion and made a film about his son called Including Samuel.
Dan Habib/includingsamuel.com

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 9:54 am

This is what an inclusive classroom looks like: Children with disabilities sit next to ones who've been deemed "gifted and talented." The mixing is done carefully, and quietly. Students don't necessarily know who's working at what level.

Despite a court ruling 25 years ago that gave children with disabilities equal access to general education activities, change has been slow.

Today, about 17 percent of students with any disability spend all or most of their days segregated. Children with severe disabilities can still expect that separation.

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Education
8:58 am
Tue April 22, 2014

What Exactly Is 'High-Quality' Preschool?

Nikki Jones' preschool class at Porter Early Childhood Development Center in Tulsa.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 11:04 am

For years, President Obama has been a vocal booster of early childhood education. In his past two State of the Union addresses, he has called on Congress to help fund preschool for every child in the country.

"Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child's life is high-quality early education," Obama told Congress in January.

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11:15 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Bright Futures Funding Dwindling

Lead in text: 
As state lawmakers begin their final negotiations on a new budget, the Senate has proposed a $291 million Bright Futures program for the academic year that begins in the fall, with the House at $266 million. Both numbers represent a drop from this year’s $309 million Bright Futures budget.
Florida's Bright Futures scholarship program for university and college students has been on the decline in recent years. At its peak, the merit scholarship program - created in 1997 and funded from Lottery proceeds - spent $429 million a year and provided financial support to 179,000 students attending universities, state colleges and vocational centers.
StateImpact Florida
10:22 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Why Florida Parents Want To Opt Their Kids Out Of State Tests

Gov. Rick Scott greets students at West Tampa's Graham Elementary School last week.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Last week Gov. Rick Scott delivered an $8.5 million check to Hillsborough County schools earning good marks on the state’s grading formula.

Those grades depend a lot on student FCAT scores. So Hillsborough Superintendent MaryEllen Elia took a moment pump up students at West Tampa’s Graham Elementary School before this week's testing.

"Next week you’re going to have an opportunity to do great again, right?" Elia asked.

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StateImpact Florida
4:13 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Florida Polytechnic University Selects First President

Randy Avent, left, shakes hands with Florida Polytechnic Board of Trustees Chair Rob Gidel.
Credit Courtesy of Florida Polytechnic

Randy Avent has a career of turning research into new defense, computer science and life science projects.

Florida Polytechnic's Board of Trustees said they want Avent to inspire future entrepreneurs at the Polk County campus.

Avent was the board's unanimous choice for the university's first president.

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Education
9:03 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Remembering FCAT, 1995-2014

Florida students sit through their last FCAT this year.

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 8:59 am

The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test is dying, say Florida education officials. By this time next year, the FCAT will be replaced with a new, Common Core-aligned assessment.

FCAT was born in 1995 in the humid June of a Tallahassee summer.

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Education
2:52 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

In-State Tuition Bill for "Undocumented" Moves on Despite Close Vote

A Senate panel is narrowly backing a proposal to allow qualified Florida students to pay in-state college tuition rates even if they are in the country illegally.

But the 8-5 vote in favor of the bill (SB 1400) only came after significant changes were made. Several Republicans opposed the bill because they said it gives a benefit to people whose families broke the law.

One of the changes would require any student seeking in-state tuition rates to apply for citizenship in order to be eligible.

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StateImpact Florida
9:43 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Checking In On Education Bills As Florida Legislature Reaches Halfway Point

The 2014 Florida legislative session has reached the halfway point.
Credit StevenM_61 / Flickr

The 2014 Florida legislative session reached the halfway point last week, so we thought we'd check in on some of the big education bills.

The Budget

The House, Senate and Gov. Rick Scott mostly agree on education spending based on their proposed budgets.

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Education
9:26 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Florida Watches New York Parents Organize Against Common Core Tests

Parents at a Brooklyn school opt out of state tests earlier this week.

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 6:02 am

The 

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Education
5:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Accounts For Disabled Students Could Lead To Clash Between House And Senate

Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland)

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 5:48 pm

School choice opponents are lining up against a proposal giving students with disabilities additional funding. They say while the intent of the bill is noble, they fear it will lead to even greater segregation within Florida’s education system.

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Education
6:05 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

'Undocumented' Immigrant Tuition Bill Passes Key Senate Committee

Allowing illegal - or undocumented - immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates cleared what was expected to be a major hurdle in the Senate, with the Judiciary Committee giving overwhelming approval Tuesday to the election-year proposal that has divided Republicans.

After impassioned pleas on both sides of the issue, the committee signed off on the proposal (SB 1400), a top priority of House Speaker Will Weatherford, in a 7-2 vote.

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12:46 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

USF Art Professor Theo Wujcik dies at 78

Lead in text: 
The cause was cancer, which had spread from Wujcik’s abdomen to his lungs and brain since last fall, said Stanton Storer, a friend and collector of Wujcik’s artwork. Characteristically, despite limitations imposed by surgery and chemotherapy, Wujcik filled the final months of his life with artistic productivity, completing a series of large-scale portraits of other artists for an exhibition in Dallas with the assistance of two former students, artists Peg Trezevant and Kirk Ke Wang. At a reception for the exhibition earlier this month, artists James Rosenquist and Ed Ruscha — Wujcik’s longtime friends and subjects of two of the portraits — joined Margaret Miller, director of the USF Contemporary Art Museum, in a conversation about Wujcik, who participated via Skype from a Tampa hospital.
Theo Wujcik, an artist revered for his prolific art-making, his collaborations with other artists as a master printer, and his teaching as an art professor at the University of South Florida over 33 years, died on Saturday evening in Tampa at the age of 78.
Education
11:27 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Why Computer-Scored Essays Could Eliminate The Need For Writing Tests

A classroom chart explaining the differences between claims, claim evidence and commentary. Hillsborough County schools are teaching the Three Cs as the building blocks of student writing.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Florida’s plans to add computerized grading of its new statewide writing test could eventually eliminate the need for a writing test, advocates for the technology said.

Essays on Florida’s new writing test will be scored by a human and a computer, but the computer score will only matter if the score is significantly different from that of the human reviewer. If that happens, bid documents indicate the essay will be scored by another human reviewer.

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