Education

We're dedicated to telling you stories about policy and public spending, and how they affect students in Florida schools. Our WUSF News reporters team up with our public media partners in South Florida to bring you a more comprehensive look at learning.

Our longtime education coverage also includes work as part of StateImpact Florida. You can see prior coverage from that project here.

Thursday marked the last day of class at Manatee County’s Duette Elementary School - literally. It’s the end of an era as the one-room school house in the farming community about 40 miles outside of Bradenton closes for the last time.  Duette is the last one-room school house in Florida and had been one of only 27 left operating in the U.S.

Last month the Obama Administration sent a letter to school districts threatening to pull federal funding if they do not allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.

When Rishi Nair triumphed at the 2016 National Geographic Bee in May, he also won the hearts of mothers everywhere by grabbing the microphone and thanking his own mother, calling her a “great lady.”

On Wednesday, Nair’s classmates at Williams Middle Magnet School in Tampa celebrated with cupcakes as they watched a TV clip from the finals.

At the event, Nair said his path to glory started with the basics: U.S. capitals, currency and longest rivers.

Demorris Lee

The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts Wednesday.

On average, 11 named tropical storms, six hurricanes, and two major hurricanes could happen during any given season.

During emergencies, Pinellas County assigns administrators to shelter sites.

Students in the Center for Advanced Technologies at Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg have created a website to help the district keep track of shelter assignments and manage communications during emergencies.

Rebecca Hale/National Geographic

A Hillsborough County 6th grader is the winner of the 2016  National Geographic Bee.

Rishi Nair, 12, of Seffner is officially an expert on maps, borders, culture and history.

Daylina Miller/WUSF

How do you teach kids about ecology when the natural world is shrinking around them?

In fast growing Florida, one solution is to take environmental studies outside the walls of a classroom.

Mort Elementary School is one of Tampa’s lowest-performing elementary schools situated in one the most troubled neighborhoods in Hillsborough County.

In 25 years though, officials are hoping it will be a model of success.

The Obama administration issued guidance to schools Friday, saying they must allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

The administration acknowledges this is "new terrain" for some people and says it wants to help school districts avoid running afoul of civil rights laws.

Walk into any classroom at Deerfield Beach Middle School and you won’t have trouble spotting the students who missed breakfast. “They’re the ones who are antsy during first and second period,” said Principal Francine Baugh, “waiting for lunch to begin.”

Jayne Chapman

 Two years ago the Florida High School Athletic Association, or FHSAA, passed a wildly unpopular mandate, requiring girls lacrosse players to wear head gear. The organization said it was responding to concussion risks -- but critics say policy and public perception of risk are getting ahead of the actual data.

Recess every single day of the week: That's the rallying cry of four mothers lobbying Miami-Dade schools after a bill to require daily recess failed to make it out of the Legislature this year. The Miami Herald's Christina Veiga and WLRN's Rowan Moore Gerety talked with Debora Hertfelder, Louisa Conway, Kate Asturias and Victoria Kenny about why they think free time at school is so important.

Read Christina Veiga's story in the Miami Herald here.

Cathy Carter/WUSF

 Elissia LaPorte is standing in front of a large full length mirror underneath a hand-painted sign that says "Hello Gorgeous."

The senior who attends Tampa's Leto High School is shopping for a prom dress at the Belle of the Ball boutique in Clearwater, which has close to 4,000 gowns on display.

LaPorte has already tried on several and after she picks her favorite, she won't have to pay for it.  

Scott Signs Education Plan That Expands Choice

Apr 15, 2016
Pixabay.com

A wide-ranging education bill dealing with everything from funding for high-performing universities to school membership in athletic associations was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Rick Scott.

Cathy Carter

Pinellas County School principals are getting some extra advice from local business leaders. 

The cohorts gathered in Largo Wednesday to share what they’ve learned as part of a statewide education initiative.

The Executive PASS program teams a business leader and principal for a school year in an effort to improve school and student performance.  The program operates in about 125 schools in four Florida counties.

Cathy Carter/WUSF

Think like an engineer. That’s what students at Jamerson Elementary School in St. Petersburg have been hearing the past 13 years.

Now, Jamerson isn't the only school that applies science, technology, engineering and math into all of its classes.

The Play's The Thing For Florida's Teen Thespians

Mar 28, 2016
Daylina Miller

Thousands of Florida teenagers flocked to Tampa this month for their version of the Super Bowl. The annual Florida State Thespian Festival is where high school dramatists converge to compete, meet college recruiters and learn from Broadway pros. 

But another big draw is the chance for these self-described "theatre geeks" to meet people just like them.

Within the massive education bill awaiting Gov. Rick Scott's signature is a provision that says that parents will be able to enroll their child in any school they choose, as long as there's space available.

If there's room on the roster, those students also can immediately start playing a sanctioned sport.

Lineth Mardomingo, a third-grader at Coral Terrace Elementary School, calls her latest piece of art, "Spinny Scroll." The piece is inspired by a memory: the time she dropped a crayon on the floor and saw it spinning, then kept spinning it and spinning it and then started spinning herself, and then bumped into a wooden bed.

"That was a long time ago and I was, like, 5," Lineth says. Now older and wiser, she says the colors she chose for her piece -- dark blue and light purple -- are the same colors as the crayons in that memory.

Massive Education Bill Approved on Final Day

Mar 12, 2016

A wide-ranging education bill dealing with everything from funding for high-performing universities to high-school membership in athletic associations made it through the final day of the legislative session Friday, despite the long odds that such policy "trains" often face.

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