Education

StateImpact Florida
5:50 pm
Sun March 8, 2015

Five Questions About Florida's Testing Problems

Florida students had trouble connecting to the state's new online writing exam on Monday and Tuesday. The problems seemed to be fixed by Wednesday afternoon.
Credit stanfordedtech / Flickr

Last week, dozens of Florida school districts had to postpone state testing because of problems with the new Florida Standards Assessments.

Students couldn’t log in to the online writing exam -- and some who did were booted out and temporarily lost their answers.

The problems seem to have been resolved Thursday. By Friday, more than half of students scheduled to take the online writing exam had finished.

Here's five questions about what happened and what's next.

What happened?

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An outreach event, Bagels & Barks!
2:00 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Calling All Animal Lovers!

Come one, Come All, especially the 4-legged kind to Tropical Park this Saturday March 7th from 9 am to Noon. 

Join Miami Dade Animal Services at Bagels and Barks at the Tropical Park Dog Park. Meet WLRN on air personalities and their pets and your furry friends are sure to love a morning at the dog park. This family event will include children’s activities, complimentary bagels and beverages for the humans, yummy treats for pets, a pet food and toy drive and pet adoptions from the Hope Mobile Express.

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The Florida Standards Assessments
6:51 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

School Districts Report Second Day Of Testing Problems

Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho at a February press conference. He's suspending testing in Miami-Dade schools.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

For the second day in a row, some Florida school districts decided to suspend required testing because of computer problems.

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Testing
11:16 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Miami-Dade Schools Suspending New State Test

School districts around the state report students had trouble logging in or experienced slow loading time with Florida's new online writing exam.
Credit Ann Douglas / Flickr

Miami-Dade schools are suspending online state testing for eighth through 10th graders after many students were unable to log on to Florida's new writing test Monday.

School districts across the state reported problems with the exam. And the test ran slowly for many who did manage to sign on.

Miami-Dade is suspending online testing for students who have yet to complete the writing test until the state can prove the new online system is running smoothly

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STEM
3:10 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

South Florida Students Make Their Robots Compete

The arena inside the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center where the robots compete.
Credit Lisann Ramos

This past weekend 51 student teams from high schools across Florida and the country competed in the South Florida FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center.

To the left of the convention center are tents lined up and full of students trying to get their robots ready for competition, each robot wearing its team shirt as well as some capes, masks and wigs. All in the name of team spirit.

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StateImpact Florida
6:34 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Ready Or Not, Students, The New Florida Exam Is Here

The new Florida Standards Assessments begin today. Most students will take the exam online, though some students will take a paper and pencil version of the writing exam.
Credit Extra Ketchup

At Miami's iPrep Academy, getting ready for the state's new standardized test includes rapping.

Two students are recording the daily announcements, telling classmates when and where they need to be starting today.

"Monday is ninth graders, with last name A to G," one student raps, in a rhyme that's no threat to Miami's Rick Ross.



"On Tuesday, it’s ninth graders with last name H through Z," his partner continues.

"All testing is in room 2 - 0 - 4!" they conclude together, Beastie Boys-style.

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Education
5:20 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

FIU Adjunct Professors Want Better Working Conditions

Joan Baker is a full-time English professor at FIU. She rallied on Wednesday, along with other permanent professors, to support her adjunct colleagues.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

Wednesday is National Adjunct Walkout Day. Adjuncts are part-time college professors who get paid lower wages, as compared to permanent employees, and have no benefits. Florida International University adjuncts want change.

About 30 people gathered at FIU's south campus by a large water fountain. Full-time instructors, part-time instructors and even students came out to support adjunct professors.

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Unemployment
4:27 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Job Market Improving For Recent College Grads, But Pay Is Not

Recent college graduates are more likely to find work since the end of the Great Recession, but pay is not yet increasing.
Credit dsb nola / Flickr

New college graduates are finding it easier to land their first jobs -- and unemployment rates are dropping for most degree holders.

But paychecks are still getting smaller for most recent grads, according to a study from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce.

The study shows that unemployment was down for nearly every category of majors in 2012, the only exception being communications and journalism.

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StateImpact Florida
10:48 am
Mon February 23, 2015

How A Private Middle School Is Preparing Students For High School Success

A private St. Petersburg middle school is finding success helping its students graduate.
Credit FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s 7:30 a.m. and the fifth through eight graders at Academy Prep in midtown St. Petersburg are lined up outside to recite the school pledge. It’s a cool February morning and they’re a little fidgety until head of school Gina Burkett raises two fingers above her head and all goes quiet.

The pledge starts with “Standing in this room are the greatest, most committed, most responsible people this world has ever known.”

That may sound slightly immodest, but getting these kids to believe they are capable of great things is a big part of the curriculum here.

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Testing
6:59 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Florida Education Commissioner Recommends Eliminating Some Tests

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.
Credit Florida Department of Education / Flickr

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart has recommended eliminating a high school exam, making another optional and asking state lawmakers and local school districts to cut back on the amount of testing.

Stewart's recommendations are the conclusion of a statewide review of standardized testing requested by Gov. Rick Scott.

"There is, without a doubt, an excess of testing in Florida schools," Stewart said in a statement, saying she'll work with Scott, lawmakers and school districts to "strike the appropriate balance between accountability and instruction."

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StateImpact Florida
2:00 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Why Elementary Math Lessons Are Changing In Florida Schools

Frances S. Tucker fifth grade math teacher Yaliesperanza Salazar leads her class through an exercise to group data on a line graph.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

At dinner tables across Florida, parents and their elementary school children are trying to solve a math problem: What’s going on with my kid’s homework?

Florida is one of dozens of states that has switched to new math standards based on Common Core. The standards outline what students should know in every grade.

Experts say it means big changes to how math is taught. More focus on understanding concepts and solving problems multiple ways. Less memorization of formulas and grinding out worksheets full of similar problems.

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Education
5:59 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Proposed Testing-Time Limit Might Not Reduce Testing Time

Florida lawmakers want to limit the amount of time students spend testing.
Credit StephenMitchell / Flickr

A proposal to limit students to 45 hours of testing a year is unlikely to reduce the amount of time spent on exams, according to a survey of Florida's largest school districts.

Districts say they don't currently track the time individual students spend on testing.

Calculating the number is complicated. The amount of testing varies by a student's grade, the classes he or she is taking and other factors, such as whether the student is learning English or receives extra time to accommodate a disability.

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Jeb
6:01 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Jeb Bush Defends Education Record At Tallahassee Summit

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush answered questions at a Tallahassee education summit Tuesday.
Credit Miami Herald

Former Gov. Jeb Bush defended his record on education at a Tallahassee education summit Tuesday, taking on testing, unions and school choice.

But Bush didn't mention Common Core -- the politically caustic multi-state math and language arts standards for which he has been a chief cheerleader. Bush is a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, and many conservatives worry the standards will mean a loss of local control over what's taught in schools.

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Education
1:09 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Study: Performance Funding Doesn't Improve Outcomes In Higher Ed

President Obama wants to make two years of public community college free for many students. But institutions like Miami Dade College, pictured here, could only participate if they also have a performance funding program.
Credit mcd.edu

Performance funding in public higher education is a way for states to hold institutions accountable for certain outcomes. But new research shows it doesn’t do much to keep students enrolled or boost graduation rates.

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Education
5:08 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Bill Could Give Out-Of-State Charter Schools A Florida Foothold

A Rocketship Education advertisement, posted on Twitter, for a Washington, D.C. school choice event.
Credit Rocketship Education

Florida charter schools that consistently earn good grades on the state’s public school report card get special privileges.

Soon, out-of-state charter schools could, too.

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