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Cathy Carter

Reporter

Cathy Carter is a reporter and host for WUSF 89.7 and other Florida public radio stations.

A graduate of Boston’s Emerson College, Cathy has covered everything from the affordable housing crisis to the ever growing cultural landscape of Tampa Bay and Sarasota.

Before joining WUSF, Cathy was the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition for Delaware Public Media and reported on a variety of topics from education to the arts.

Cathy also reported for WAMU, the NPR news station in Washington D.C, was a host at XM Satellite Radio and wrote arts and culture stories for a variety of newspapers, including the Virginian Pilot and the Baltimore Sun.

Her work has been honored by journalism organizations such as the Florida Associated Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Maryland Press Association and the Delaware Press Association.

Contact Cathy at 813-974-8638, on Twitter @catcartreports or by email at ccarter@wusf.org

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Pinellas County Schools

Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Michael Grego has been named Florida’s 2018 Superintendent of the Year.

Earlier this month, Grego was selected as the Superintendent of the Year by the National School Foundation Association. On Wednesday, his fellow Florida school superintendents presented him with the award at a statewide meeting in Tampa.

Pixabay.com

Just three states hold elections for local school superintendents and Florida is one of them. But a proposed constitutional amendment could change things. 

Most superintendents in Florida, 41 of 67, are elected by popular vote.  That stands in contrast to the vast majority in the country where school superintendents are typically selected by members of school boards.

Beginning Monday, members of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission will consider whether that position should be one appointed by school boards.

State lawmakers are advancing a bill to create a statewide board to oversee Florida’s 28 state and community colleges.

The schools are now under the State Board of Education, which also oversees Florida’s pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade system.

The proposal also revives a plan college presidents objected to last year: stricter performance measures for graduation.

Jodi Bardelli

Hundreds of Hillsborough County school teachers protested at Tuesday's School Board meeting in Tampa.

Friction between teachers and administrators began surfacing last month when teachers were told they would not be getting a pay raise. Under a negotiated pay plan, teachers have received a four thousand dollar increase every three years if they attain high evaluation scores. 

But now, the school district says it cannot afford the $17 million dollars it would take to pay out those performance raises to teachers and support staff.

Wikimedia Commons

More than 5,000 students from Puerto Rico have enrolled in Florida public schools since Hurricane Maria.

In the seven weeks since the storm made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, the majority of schools in Puerto Rico still don't have electricity or running water.  While most students have settled in Central and South Florida, school systems across Tampa Bay were also impacted.

When the new Legislative session begins in January, lawmakers will debate policy and craft budgets.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg hopes to attract both Star Wars fans and fashionistas to their newest exhibition.

"Star Wars, and the Power of Costume" opens this weekend for members of the museum and on Monday for the general public.

It's almost Election Day in Pinellas County. And Sunday, Nov. 5 is the early voting deadline.

Cathy Carter

Each spring, third graders in Florida's public schools are required to take a reading exam, and a failing grade could result in a student being held back.

Supporters of the mandatory state test say it helps catch struggling readers early.

But in Sarasota County, educators and community leaders think third grade intervention isn't soon enough.   

Albrina Hendry

Research by the Brookings Institution shows that poor children do worse in school partly because their families have fewer financial resources, but also because their own parents tend to have less education and higher rates of single and teen pregnancy.

A national home based early learning program with chapters in Florida is aiming to level the playing field.

Nonesuch Records

The new season of a "Prairie Home Companion" can be heard on WUSF every weekend.

And on Wednesday, its host will be in Tampa to play a concert at the Straz Center.

Cathy Carter

By the time a girl turns six years old, she begins to lose confidence. That's the conclusion of a recent study on gender stereotypes published in the journal "Science."

But building self-esteem doesn't have to be clinical or complicated. For one local group, it can be accomplished with the belief that "girls rock."

And they mean that quite literally. 

NPR

  

Listeners of the popular NPR program Snap Judgment, recognize its host for his wildly expressive delivery and the show's emphasis on "storytelling with a beat."

Pixabay.com

In a unanimous decision, the Pinellas County School Board has voted to join a potential lawsuit against the state.

It now joins Polk, Orange, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Broward and six other state school districts in agreeing to share costs of a legal challenge to a new education law in Florida.

Wikimedia Commons

The Pinellas County School Board is expected to vote Tuesday on whether or not to join a legal challenge to a controversial new education law.

The Sarasota County School district is putting a new spin on the typical town hall meeting. On Wednesday, families can interact with school officials on a computer, tablet or smart phone.

The district's Digital Town Hall will be broadcast on its website, local cable TV, and on Facebook Live.

Flickr

The country is eagerly anticipating Monday's total solar eclipse.

And local school districts are taking different approaches to the historic event.

Summer is in full swing and for those who can't get out of town, a staycation can make all the difference. This week on Florida Matters we're taking a look at some ways to escape the everyday hustle and bustle and have some fun in the Tampa Bay Area. 


Florida Aquarium

Governor Rick Scott was in Tampa Tuesday to unveil Florida's latest tourism numbers and he used the Florida Aquarium as the backdrop to his announcement.

Scott said an estimated 60.7 million tourists came to Florida during the first six months of the year. That's a 4.1 percent increase over the same time period in 2016.

Marion County Schools

Elementary school students in Marion County won't have any homework to do this school year.

Instead, the newly elected superintendent of the central Florida school district is asking families to read with their kids for at least 20 minutes a night.

Pixabay.com

The School Boards in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties have voted to authorize legal action to challenge a controversial new education bill.

Tampa Bay area school districts are still deciding whether to join them.

Cathy Carter

During a span of just two months in 2015, seven young black men were shot to death in St. Petersburg.

The murders were not connected.

But the random violence did serve as a clarion call for African-Americans and the community at large.

Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

At the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores, a dozen or so kindergartners gather for a pop quiz, next to a coop holding an injured bird.

Pixabay.com

The Florida Department of Education has released school grades for the 2016-17 school year.

Cathy Carter

Best known as a pioneer of modernist painting, Marc Chagall also worked with stained glass, tapestries and ceramics.

The world's most important museums display the artist's work, but it’s never been shown quite like the way it is right now at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.

Cathy Carter

There's little doubt that America is becoming more diverse.

Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in the nation's public schools. But differences can extend beyond race and ethnicity, as students in Sarasota County are learning.

Courtesy Nathan Sawaya

Last year, visitors to Tampa’s Amalie Arena could "swim" in a million white plastic balls at an interactive exhibit called "The Beach.” 

Now, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is bringing another large-scale public art project to the city.

A towering oak tree draped with Spanish moss offers little relief from the Florida sun as Andrew Lumish scrubs grime from the headstone of a World War I veteran.

"It's pretty messy, pretty dirty," he says. "We're pulling out dirt and biological material that's been here since 1921. So, a lot of elbow grease here."

Lumish, who has so far cleaned about 600 veterans' headstones, says he restores them out of respect for those who died and to learn about how they lived.

Pixabay.com

Recess has returned, but not for charter schools, and state testing will be limited to two weeks. Those are just two of the proposals lawmakers crammed into an education bill that capped off the end of the legislative session.

Creative Commons

According to the Florida Department of Education, nearly eighty one percent of Florida teenagers earned a high school diploma last year. That makes the state's graduation rate 20 percent higher than it was a decade ago.

It mirrors a national trend--but is the news too good to be true?  

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