Broward schools superintendent Robert Runcie, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, left, and Broward Teachers Union president Sharon Glickman, right, announced the creation of two task forces to recommend changes to teacher evaluations and high school schedules.
The legal and public relations battle over Florida's private-school scholarship programs continues, with the statewide teacher's union revising its lawsuit and a school choice group producing a new television ad supporting the programs.
A 10th grader born in Haiti struggles to read in his class at Godby High School in Tallahassee. The student is more comfortable with Haitian Creole than English. Teacher Althea Valle has students of various nationalities trying to master the language.
“It’s a challenge,” Valle says. “There’s a lot of gesturing, and you know sometimes I feel like I’m onstage and sometimes I have to be onstage to make myself understood.”
The school’s principal, Bridget McKinney majored in debate and thought the requirements for Florida’s new Common Core-based standards sounded a lot like her college classes. She needed a writing teacher for new speech and debate courses she wanted to create.
Allapattah Middle School principal Bridget McKinney sits in on one of the speech and debate classes she's required her students to take. McKinney says the Common Core standards emphasis using evidence and making arguments.
Bridget McKinney, principal at Miami's Allapattah Middle School, says her students struggle to pass the state's reading and writing tests.
So when McKinney first read the Common Core math and language arts standards used in Florida schools this year, what jumped out was the emphasis on answering questions and making arguments using examples and evidence from what students are reading.
It took McKinney back to college -- she was a speech major. So she decided her sixth, seventh and eighth graders would have to take a speech and debate course each year.
Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 6:46 pm
The walls are lined with robots and movie posters for Star Wars and Back to the Future. But this is no 1980s nerd den. It's the technology lab at Westside Neighborhood School in Los Angeles, and the domain of its ed-tech coordinator, Don Fitz-Roy.
"So we're gonna be talking about digital citizenship today."
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed federal complaints against school districts in Broward, Hernando, Hillsborough and Volusia counties over the use of all-girls or all-boys classes. The ACLU wants the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to investigate the programs.
StateImpact Florida’s Gina Jordan spoke with Galen Sherwin, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, about the complaints.
Evan Forde struggled in school while growing up in Miami-Dade. He got poor grades even though his parents were educators.
Now, he’s one of the few African American oceanographers in the country.
“I wanted to look the children in the eyes, and I wanted them to remember this day. And I wanted them to remember my story,” he said. “I was poorly behaved and a poor student. One day, I woke up thinking I could do whatever I want to do in this world, that I’m here for a reason.”
Miami-Dade teachers are still waiting to use $281 state-funded debit cards for school supplies. The school district said they wanted to wait until they knew which teachers would last through the school year.