Education

Nutrition
8:43 am
Thu April 30, 2015

It Takes A Forest To Feed An Elementary School

The young crops at Kelsey Pharr Elementary School's new "food forest."
Credit John O'Connor / WLRN

What was once a grass yard at Kelsey Pharr Elementary School in Miami’s Brownsville neighborhood is now packed with broccoli, herbs and plenty of greens.

Students at 10 other Miami-Dade County elementary schools also will soon be eating kale, tomatoes and purple passion fruit they grow themselves.

In a couple of years, the banana and jackfruit trees will be ready, too.

The gardens -- dubbed “food forests” -- are part of a program to teach kids to eat healthy and to teach them the science of farming and nutrition.

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StateImpact Florida
9:00 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Explaining Florida's For-Profit College Industry

Corinthian Colleges, the parent company of Everest University, agreed to sell or close all its campuses. This campus in Boston has closed. Florida campuses were sold.
Credit Kirk Carapezza / WGBH

Miami Herald reporter Michael Vasquez has spent a year digging into Florida's for-profit college industry for a series called Higher Ed Hustle.

About 300,000 Florida students attend for-profit colleges, which often specialize in training low-skill workers for a new career.

But students often find their degree doesn't qualify for the career they were seeking, and they graduate with tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

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Testing
6:53 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Florida Standardized Testing Woes Continue

South Florida students were unable to access their exams Monday.
Credit Miami Herald

It seems neither Florida’s Department of Education nor its testing provider learned its lesson after standardized exams were thrown into chaos last month by technical glitches.

Once again, testing ground to a halt in South Florida schools Monday after students were unable to access the tests that may decide their educational future.

Once again, Florida education officials blamed the problems on last-minute changes to testing systems by contractor, American Institutes for Research.

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StateImpact Florida
12:26 am
Mon April 20, 2015

New Broward College Program Wants To Train Young Artists And Designers

A storyboard created by Claudia Morell, a student in Broward College's Visual Arts and Design Academy.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

A new program at Broward College has just eight students and seeks to train the next generation of South Florida artists and designers.

The school hopes to earn a national certification for the Visual Arts and Design Academy this spring – becoming the first community college in the South to have that.

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Politics
2:25 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Taking A Class At FIU With Professor Marco Rubio

A photo of Marco Rubio during the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference.
Credit Michael Vadon / Flickr/Creative Commons

Marco Rubio will speak this afternoon at the historic Freedom Tower where he will share his candidacy for the 2016 presidential race. During his time as Florida senator, he’s also held another title: Professor Rubio.

Abel Ramos Taype was 23 years old and a few electives short of graduating with a degree in international relations from Florida International University.

Upon looking for one of those final electives needed to graduate, an international relations course billed with two lecturers caught his eye.

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Education
12:01 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Required Financial Literacy Course Gets Second Chance in Florida Senate

The Florida Council on Economic Education says personal bankruptcies have increased 2200 percent in the last 40 years. That’s one reason why the council is leading a campaign called Require The Money Course.
Credit Trianons Oficial/flickr

Bills filed in the Florida House and Senate would require high school students to take a one-semester financial literacy course. But with just three weeks left in the legislative session, the proposals (House bill 29 and Senate bill 92)  haven’t been discussed by committees.

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Education
8:36 am
Tue April 7, 2015

At The U, An MBA For The NFL

The University of Miami's Executive MBA for Professional Artists and Athletes attracted 20 former and 20 current NFL players.
Credit Kenny Malone

Grad student Torrey Smith didn’t really drink coffee before he started his master's in business administration at the University of Miami.

“Now I’ve had to try it a few times and step outside of my box because these long hours catch up to you,” the 26-year-old Smith says.

It’s not like Smith isn’t used to a high-stakes, rigorous schedule. He’s won a Super Bowl, caught 30 touchdown passes and just signed a $40 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

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StateImpact Florida
9:18 am
Mon April 6, 2015

A Q & A With The University Of Florida's New President

W. Kent Fuchs is the new president of the University of Florida. During his time at Cornell University, he helped establish a New York City campus.
Credit Cornell University

Three months ago, W. Kent Fuchs became president of the University of Florida, leaving New York’s Cornell University.

Fuchs says Florida universities are adding new faculty, but opposition to higher tuition means more pressure to find private donations.

The University of Florida is also expanding a new online program with a goal of eventually enrolling 24,000 students.

Fuchs sat down with WLRN’s StateImpact Florida reporter John O’Connor to talk about the issues in higher education.

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Financial Education
3:07 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

College-Affiliated Bank Accounts Often Not A Good Deal For Students

Miami Dade College was singled out in a report critical of partnerships between colleges and banks. Students can pay hundreds of dollars a year in overdraft fees from banks. Often those banks have special partnerships with colleges or universities, but students can likely find as good or better deals on their own.
Credit xinntii / Flickr

The federal government should ban overdraft fees for financial accounts established through a partnership between banks and colleges and universities, according to a new report from the Center for Responsible Lending.

Those overdraft fees can cost students hundreds of dollars a year -- more than books -- on accounts often set up to handle financial aid payments.

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StateImpact Florida
10:59 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

Despite Problems, Experts Say Computerized Testing Is The Answer For Florida Schools

Despite problems with Florida's new exam, testing experts say the state's emphasis on digital lessons mean schools should use computerized testing.
Credit wcsryanhartley / Flickr

Testing experts say so far Florida's problems with its new statewide exam, the Florida Standards Assessments, are likely not serious enough for the state to consider throwing out this year’s test scores.

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Education
6:28 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

House Passes Bill To Reduce Class Size Penalties

Voters approved the class size amendment in 2002. Florida lawmakers are charged with implementing - and funding - the amendment. It limits the number of students per class to 18 through 3rd grade, 22 in 4th - 8th grade, and 25 in high school.
Credit Pasco County Schools/flickr

School districts are likely to face fewer penalties for violating class-size requirements under a bill that passed the Florida House Friday on a vote of 107 - 3.

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Education
7:53 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Senate Committee Wants To Suspend Testing Penalties For Third Graders

Florida law requires 3rd graders with the lowest scores on state tests to be held back. But a Senate committee wants to suspend that penalty this year.
Credit departmentofed / Flickr

Nearly one in five Florida third graders were at risk of being held back because of low scores on the state reading test last year.

But this year the state might not hold back any third graders. That’s because a Senate committee voted to suspend those penalties this year.

The bill requires an outside group to make sure the state test results are statistically valid.

Sen. David Simmons says he wants to make sure schools and the state can depend on Florida Standards Assessments results before making big decisions using those results.

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StateImpact Florida
2:36 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Project Gives Developmentally Disabled A Chance To Go To College

Quan Jones of Project 10 Stingray works at the marina behind USFSP.
Credit M.S. Butler / StateImpact Florida

A college education is generally considered a student's best shot at getting a good job these days, and it's often assumed most high schoolers are prepared to attend college.

But there's one group that has been quietly excluded from that process -- students with intellectual disabilities.

A program at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg  is giving these students college experience that, while it's not a traditional degree, is giving them a head start on their career goals.

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School Funding
10:10 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Amendment Would Give Charter Schools A Share Of School Construction Money

Sen. Don Gaetz has filed an amendment which would force school districts to share local construction money with charter schools.
Credit JD Hancock / Flickr

School districts would have to share local school construction and maintenance money with charter schools, according to an amendment filed by an influential state senator.

Sen. Don Gaetz, former Senate president, filed the amendment Tuesday. The amendment would require half of the money raised by an optional local property tax to be split between charter and traditional schools on a per-student basis.

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StateImpact Florida
9:43 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Testing, School Choice, Phys. Ed.: A Town Hall Conversation About Florida Education

Rashon and Mr. Brown, two people featured in the documentary "180 Days: Hartsville." Florida public media stations will air the movie this month. Check local listings.
Credit Clevis Harrison / PBS

This week, PBS is launching a new documentary series, "180 Days."

One of the films focuses on Hartsville, South Carolina, a rural and poor district which has managed to become one of the highest rated school districts, according to South Carolina's ranking.

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