Education

Teacher Evaluations
8:51 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Broward Schools Want Changes To Evaluations And High School Schedules

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.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Broward County school and union leaders want to make changes to test-based teacher evaluations and the county's high school schedule.

Florida law requires half of a teacher's evaluation score to be based on whether students miss, meet or exceed expected results on state tests.

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Education
3:00 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

PETA Shows UNF Students Life Through A Chicken's Eyes

Peta2's iChicken at University of North Florida

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 10:16 am

Step into Peta 2’s iChicken box, and step into the shoes of a chicken on its way to a slaughterhouse.

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The Governor's Race
7:15 am
Mon October 27, 2014

What A Second Term Of Rick Scott Or Charlie Crist Will Mean For Florida Education

Former Gov. Charlie Crist, now a Democrat, and current Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, have made education a top issue on the campaign trail.
Credit Michael Laughlin / South Florida Sun Sentinel

Note: This story was originally posted on Oct. 14. The audio is an updated version of the story.

Polls show Governor Rick Scott and former Governor Charlie Crist are polarizing. Voters are as likely to dislike the candidates as they are to approve of them.

So both candidates are talking about schools, colleges and scholarships -- to motivate their supporters.

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School Choice Lawsuits
5:09 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Court, Public Relations Battle Over Florida Private School Programs Heating Up

The Florida Education Association has amended its challenge of a new school choice law in the Leon County's Second Judicial Circuit.
Credit flguardian2 / Flickr

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.

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Education
1:32 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

South Florida State House Candidates Agree There's Too Much Testing

Republican, Democrat and independent candidates were unanimous Tuesday -- Florida schools test too much.
Credit shinealight / Flickr

The candidates running for three South Dade state House seats -- Republican, Democrat, independent -- all agree that Florida students and schools spend too much time testing.

Candidates running for the Florida House of Representatives in the 112th, 114th and 115th districts gathered for an education forum Tuesday night at Palmetto Middle School.

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Education
4:00 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Florida Will Fight U.S. Education Department Over English Learners

Althea Valle teaches a class of ELL's. She says of the new federal requirement, "I think it’s going to put a lot of pressure on the schools to get these kids where we think they should be."
Credit Gina Jordan/StateImpact Florida

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.”

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Common Core
3:36 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Palm Beach School Board Member Says Lawmakers Set "Unrealistic Expectations"

Jennifer Prior Brown is stepping down from the Palm Beach County school board, but she says teachers won't have enough time to prepare students for the state's new math standards.
Credit freedigitalphotos.net

An outgoing Palm Beach County school board member says the state’s new math standards are too tough, and that schools don’t have enough time to get kids up to speed.

Palm Beach County school board member Jennifer Prior Brown brought a fourth grade homework problem to Thursday’s board meeting.

Wayne and Cheryl have 72 marbles between them, the problem asked. Cheryl has two more than four times as many as Wayne. How many marbles does Cheryl have?

“So I quickly came up with an algebraic equation, right?" Prior Brown asked, before meticulously walking through the steps.

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StateImpact Florida
11:06 am
Mon October 13, 2014

How A Miami Middle School Added Speech And Debate Classes On A Budget

Veldreana Oliver has taught physical education for 28 years at Allapattah Middle School. More recently, her principal asked her to teach writing, speech and debate.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Last week StateImpact Florida told you how a middle school in Miami has added speech and debate courses this year to improve reading, writing and speaking.

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.

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Diversity
7:16 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Miami-Dade Schools Will Track Minority-Owned-Business Contracts

Ron Frazier led a review of Miami-Dade schools' contracts for the Urban League of Miami and the NAACP. The district and the groups have reached an agreement to more closely track district contracts.
Credit John O'Connor / WLRN

Miami-Dade school officials will track how much minority-owned subcontractors are paid and create a new program to make sure district contracts are properly awarded.

Last month, the Urban League of Miami and the local NAACP released an audit they said showed black-owned businesses received a disproportionately low share of district contracts.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho says he appreciated the response.

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StateImpact Florida
5:32 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Why A Miami Middle School Is Teaching Debate To Conquer Common Core

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.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

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.

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Education
5:36 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Five South Florida Schools Earn Blue Ribbon Honors

The King's Academy in West Palm Beach celebrates their Blue Ribbon honor.
Credit The King's Academy

Five South Florida schools have been named National Blue Ribbon schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

Two schools in Miami-Dade County, one in Broward County and two in Palm Beach County joined more than 330 other schools on the national list.

The five winning South Florida schools include a magnet school, two charter schools and two private schools.

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Technology
5:06 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Kids And Screen Time: Cutting Through The Static

LA Johnson/NPR

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."

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StateImpact Florida
8:38 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Why The ACLU Is Challenging Single-Gender Classes In Florida Schools

The ACLU is worried single-gender classes might reinforce stereotypes of the 1950s.
Credit Gardiner & James Families / Wikimedia Commons

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.

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Education
4:40 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Ocean Researcher Tells Students Education Is The Key To Their Dreams

Evan Forde presenting at Van E. Blanton Elementary as part of "Back to School Day."
Credit Pattrik Simmons

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.”

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School Supplies
1:25 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Miami-Dade Teachers Still Waiting On School Supply Debit Cards

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.
Credit vamapaull / Flickr

Miami-Dade teachers are still waiting to cash in their $281 debit cards for supplies -- six weeks into the school year.

Gov. Rick Scott pushed the state-funded cards last year. Lawmakers said they intended the cards to be used prior to the school year.

"Basically it’s an issue of making sure that the teachers who spend the money will be the teachers who spend the year in the classrooms," said Miami Herald education reporter Christina Veiga.

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