LISTEN LIVE

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 across Florida to bring you a more comprehensive look at learning.

To see coverage from our prior StateImpact Florida project, visit here.

Creative Commons

Beginning this fall, Florida students can go to any public school in the state. Seen as a victory for proponents of school choice, the new law was signed by Gov. Rick Scott last year. It allows students to cross county borders as long as a school has room, and parents provide their own transportation. 

Parents could soon be able to see how much the school district is spending on their child’s education.


When most children in the foster care system turn 18, they’re on their own…Today, we’ll hear from a young man in a Miami supportive housing program called Casa Valentina, where young people get counseling and academic support and learn about building a life and career. Deon Richards is 22 now. WLRN's Rowan Moore Gerety  spoke with him  about what it was like becoming an adult as a ward of the state.

 

We're all familiar with the term "hidden in plain sight." Well, there may be no better way to describe the nation's 6,900 charter schools.

These publicly-funded, privately-run schools have been around since the first one opened in St. Paul, Minn., in 1992. Today, they enroll about 3.1 million students in 43 states, so you'd think Americans should know quite a bit about them by now. But you'd be wrong.

Everything from mandatory recess to testing schedules is up for debate during the state legislative session that begins next week.

Rep. Tracie Davis, D-Jacksonville, and Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, laid out their education agendas to members of Duval County’s Parent Teacher Association Tuesday.


John Legend Encourages Tampa Bay Students Of Color

Feb 27, 2017
Creative Commons

John Legend is known for his music, but he came to the Tampa Convention Center last week as an advocate for students of color. He told students and educators there that poverty and racism often stand in their way.

Alex Proimos / Wikimedia Commons

The Federal Trade Commission says around one-third of financial exploitation complaints last year came from seniors. One of the top complaint reported to the Senate Aging Committee Fraud Hotline includes what's called grandparent scams.

Leading members of the House and Senate unveiled legislation Wednesday that they said could help reduce the amount of time Florida public school students spend on standardized tests during the school year.

But lawmakers admitted that the proposal (HB 773, SB 926), dubbed the “Fewer, Better Tests” legislation, would not explicitly do away with any exams.

The proposal would require the state's language arts and math tests to be administered in the last three weeks of a school year, with the exception of the 3rd-grade reading exam.

Florida’s community colleges, now called state colleges, can offer more than an associate’s degree: students don’t necessarily have to transfer to complete a bachelor's degree. However, one bill lawmakers will debate this session—SB 374—introduced by Dorothy Hukill, R-Brevard-Volusia, would limit upper-level courses at state colleges.

Lee Demorris

It’s family game night at Davis Elementary School in Clearwater, but there's not a Monopoly board or a Jenga block in sight. Instead, kids and parents are playing math games.

Quincy Walters

A federal judge is recommending dismissal of a lawsuit brought against the Florida High School Athletic Association by a private school in Tampa.

Cambridge Christian School says the state sports association violated the Florida and U.S. Constitutions when it denied the use of a public-address system for a pre-game prayer at Orlando's Camping World Stadium.

The school made the request before a state championship football game in 2015.

Florida State Sen. Bill Montford, R-Tallahasee, wants to encourage college students to make a career in education. He's proposing creating a scholarship to help pay for teacher certification.

A controversial teacher bonus program could be up for changes this year. Teachers have complained the Best and Brightest program is unfair—it awards bonuses partly based on standardized test scores—disadvantaging older and minority educators.

A Senate plan for changes to the state’s public colleges and universities sailed smoothly through its first panel hearing Monday. Questions mostly centered on how schools could implement block tuition and use a four-year graduation rate as part of the state’s higher ed accountability system.

The Duval County School district wants more non-Hispanic students to join its dual-language program.

The program teaches students core subjects in English and Spanish, and most of the students come from Hispanic families.


The future could get a little brighter for some Florida college students. There’s a growing consensus to increase awards for some of the state’s highest academic performers. Legislative and state leaders seem to be in agreement when it comes to lowering the cost of higher ed.

Cathy Carter/WUSF

A St. Petersburg teacher was surprised with an award and a $25,000 prize during an all-school assembly Thursday.

Lukas Hefty, a science and math coordinator at Douglas Jamerson Jr. Elementary School, is Florida's only recipient of the national Milken Educator Awards. Its aim is to encourage early to mid-career education professionals.

Wiki Commons

Gender identity and bathroom use was a hot button issue in 2016. Last May, the Obama administration sent guidelines to the nation's public schools about restroom use for transgender students.

School districts - including several in Florida - have grappled with the issue. And the U.S. Supreme Court has now entered the debate agreeing to hear a case where a Virginia school district fought the directive.

WUSF Public Media

Florida's incoming Senate President Joe Negron is laying the groundwork to revamp the state's Bright Futures scholarships program, which is funded by the state lottery.

WUSF Public Media

Republican Joe Negron was sworn in as the new President of the Florida Senate last month and he recently laid out his priorities for education in the state. That includes more money for higher education and boosting the reputation of Florida's universities.

Jaden Piner started acting because his grandma made him do it.

She was preaching at church one Sunday and needed a visual element for her sermon. She tapped the then fifth grader to act out her words on the pulpit.

“She was talking about when you overcome certain struggles,” said Jaden, 13. “So I had a brick in a bag and I had to act like I couldn't pick it up because it was a struggle.”

Immigration—or immigration enforcement—has been a signature issue for President-elect Donald Trump. One policy he has vowed to repeal is DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which gives about 750,000 young immigrants the ability to work and go to college here in the U.S. 

Florida’s higher education coordinating council wants to see more working age Floridians with certifications and degrees.

Cathy Carter

Several public schools in Pasco County are filled to capacity - and that means school boundaries must be redrawn to ease overcrowding.

At issue are two separate rezoning matters taking place at the same time in Pasco County: one in the Trinity area and one in Wesley Chapel. Jeffrey Solochek, an education reporter for the Tampa Bay Times, says rezoning committees have made their recommendations.

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran is gearing up for a fight with lobbyists, unions, and maybe even his own colleagues. Corcoran used his swearing in ceremony to go after the Florida Education Association's challenge to the state's de-facto school voucher program.

If you're giving a PowerPoint presentation to hundreds of teenagers and the focus is financial literacy, you might want to consider booking a rock band as the opening act.


Quincy Walters

The Friday night lights were shining over Skyway Park in Tampa last month as the Cambridge Christian School Lancers ended their season undefeated with a 45 to 6 win over Carrollwood Day School.

The team's victory celebration ended as it always does when the players and coaches gathered for a post-game prayer.

To the team and the school community, prayer is more important than who wins or loses. That's why before every kickoff,  a prayer is said over a public address system.

Before he moved to Miami, Waltter Teruel sold antiques and life insurance in New York. Working as a recruiter at ITT Technical Institute in Hialeah was a welcome change. “I mean, if you’re a salesperson, you have to lie through your teeth,” he said, “but in this case, it’s one of the sales where you actually don’t have to lie at some point.”

School Tax Referendum on Ballot In Pinellas County in November

Oct 24, 2016
Cathy Carter

About 115 music students from Seminole Middle School are on stage taking direction from Sarah Charness-- a classically trained violinist who seems more like a rock star. Maybe it’s her hot pink electric violin or the fact that she's played Madison Square Garden, but either way she's grabbed the students’ attention as she coaches them on how to end a song with flourish by raising their bows in the air.  

Pages