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.

utnapistim / Flickr

The chairman of the Senate’s Education Committee said Gov. Rick Scott and lawmakers want to spend at least $40 million, and likely more, to upgrade school Internet capacity and add new computers, tablets and other digital tools.

Sen. John Legg, R-Port Richey, said education technology is a priority for Scott and both Republican and Democratic legislative leaders.

Legg said $40 million in Scott’s proposed budget — to be released in full tomorrow — is a starting point.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Monday called for spending more money on the state's public schools, although his latest request is less than half of what he pushed for in 2013.

Scott's pitch for more money also comes amid a tough re-election battle where his political opponents will try to remind voters that the Republican governor called for large cuts to education during his first year in office.

wlrn.org

Tricia Norman, the mother of alleged bully victim, Rebecca Sedwick, is backing House and Senate legislation that would toughen penalties against bullying.

Rebecca Sedwick ended her life in November after alleged bullying from classmates.

If this legislation is passed, it will be known as Rebecca's Law.

Tricia Norman's attorney, Brett Morgan, says the state is now seeing bullying for what it really is.

Florida A&M University is selecting a Cornell University vice president to lead the school following a tumultuous period in the school history.

FAMU's Board of Trustees on Thursday selected Elmira Mangum for the job. But the vote came after FAMU's own alumni association and others pleaded with board members to consider interim president Larry Robinson for the job.

Nathan B. Forrest High — the Jacksonville school named for the Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader — has a new name.

Polk State College

Polk State College held a ribbon-cutting for its new Advanced Technology Center on Thursday at the Clear Springs development east of  Bartow. Built with a $12 million donation from Clear Springs developer Stan Phelps, the center will train industry workers in high skilled technology jobs. The campus was originally envisioned as a $30 million project, but state funding fell through. Polk State College president Eileen Holden spoke to WUSF's Robin Sussingham about the center's current capabilites and Polk State's hopes for future expansion.

AP Award Entry Continuing Coverage: Common Core

Dec 31, 2013

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 -- http://stateimpact.npr.org/florida/2013/04/01/what-common-core-standards-mean-for-media-specialists/

Common Core Opponents Having Little Success In Florida – So Far -- http://n.pr/1jAfH9T

Award Entry General Coverage: Common Core

Dec 31, 2013

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 -- http://stateimpact.npr.org/florida/2013/04/01/what-common-core-standards-mean-for-media-specialists/

Common Core Opponents Having Little Success In Florida – So Far -- http://n.pr/1jAfH9T

The Christel House benefited last year from grading changes made by former schools Superintendent Tony Bennett. But grades released for the 2012-13 school year showed a precipitous drop for the school founded by top GOP donor Christel DeHaan.

www.news4jax.com

Forrest High was originally named for Nathan Bedford Forrest—the Civil War general and first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. The issue divided Jacksonville for decades.

Last June, a group of education advocates from Jacksonville’s African American community gathered around a table at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church to discuss education disparities. Aleta Alston-Toure expressed her frustration at what she sees as institutional racism.

"Duval County has a school where the Klu Klux Klan is still the title of that high school", Alston-Toure said. "And that school is? Forrest."

Wikimedia Commons

After more than a half century of controversy, Nathan B. Forrest High School in Jacksonville is looking for a new name.

In 1959, Forrest High was named for Nathan Bedford Forrest—the Civil War general and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

But Monday night, on the recommendation of Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, the Duval County School Board voted unanimously to rename the high school.

After decades of blistering debate about the balance between honoring Southern history and glorifying slavery and white supremacy, the Duval County School Board in Jacksonville, Fla., voted unanimously on Monday to rename Nathan B. Forrest High School.

Forrest is a polarizing figure from the Civil War era. Forrest was considered a succesful and fearless general, but it was also Forrest and his men who, after overpowering Union forces in Fort Pillow, near Memphis, went on to execute black soldiers after they had surrendered.

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.

Florida High School Graduation Rates Continue To Rise

Dec 11, 2013
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.

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.

Changing GED Adds New Problems To An Old Test

Dec 9, 2013
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.

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.

To get into Florida colleges and universities you have to have studied — or be ab

Murrow Award Entry Continuing Coverage: Common Core

Dec 1, 2013

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 -- http://stateimpact.npr.org/florida/2013/04/01/what-common-core-standards-mean-for-media-specialists/

Common Core Opponents Having Little Success In Florida – So Far -- http://n.pr/1jAfH9T

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.

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.

SharingFlorida.org

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.

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:

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.

How Florida Kids Learn About Sea-Level Rise

Nov 12, 2013
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.

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.

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.

genesisgroup / Google image search

Khadejah Gilbert found out she wasn’t quite ready for higher education when she enrolled in Hillsborough Community College.

She's one of many students who had to take brush up in basic subjects before starting her associate of arts degree in liberal arts.

The classes cost money, but don’t come with any credit

Sammy Mack / StateImpact Florida

The conversation about Common Core standards hit a fever pitch in Florida last week.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Lory Baxley said she drove two hours to discuss her complaints about Common Core standards after checking out her son’s math assignments.

Baxley’s son earned top scores on the FCAT, but now he’s worried if he’ll pass fourth grade. She blamed Common Core.

Pages