Education

People
6:21 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Chancellor To Leave Florida For Higher Ed Post In Pennsylvania

Frank Brogan
Credit flbog.edu

Florida Chancellor Frank Brogan was named to a similar position in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, signaling an end to his four-year tenure as head of the State University System.

The board of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education tapped Brogan for the position during a meeting Wednesday. The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News reported that the vote was 15-0, and that Brogan would make $327,500. He will start the job Oct. 1.

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Common Core
10:43 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Indiana Panel Begins Review Of Common Core Education Standards

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 11:13 am

Indiana lawmakers held the first of a series of hearings on the future of Common Core State Standards yesterday.

The first hearing focused on the quality of the standards, while subsequent meetings will look at assessment and cost.

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Teaching
11:12 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Classroom Contemplations: Little Books, Big Statement

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 12:00 pm

Ms. Roberts left teaching ten years ago, but she remembers very clearly a day in class that changed her and her students.

It was her first year and she was teaching English to over two hundred kids a day in Room 100, also known as “the Pit.”  The name came from the fact that her class was where several other Language Arts teachers had transferred challenging students.

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Politics
8:22 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Bennett Resignation Buoys Critics Of Testing

Tony Bennett
Credit Florida Department of Education

For the third time in Gov. Rick Scott's two-and-a-half years as governor, there is no permanent leader in place for the Department of Education.

Departures are nothing new for the Scott administration. At least 11 department heads during Scott's term have resigned; the governor is also on his third chief of staff and is still looking for a replacement for Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll.

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Politics
5:48 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Florida's Education Chief Resigns Over Grading Scandal

Florida's former Commissioner of Education Tony Bennett.
Florida Department of Education

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:01 pm

In education circles, Tony Bennett is widely known as a hard-charging Republican reformer associated with Jeb Bush's prescriptions for fixing public schools: charter schools, private school vouchers, tying teacher pay to student test scores and grading schools on a A through F scale.

Bennett resigned from his post as Florida's education chief this morning when a controversy over the last of those things — the school grades — caught up with him.

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Politics
12:32 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett Resigns

Tony Bennett

Update 2:24 p.m.: Florida is looking for a new education commissioner. Tony Bennett resigned today – effective immediately – after just six months on the job.

Allegations surfaced this week that Bennett changed the school grading system in Indiana to benefit a campaign contributor while he served as that state's elected superintendent.

Bennett said the allegations were unfounded, but he decided to step down because they had become a distraction.

Senate Education Committee Chairman John Legg says Bennett did the right thing.

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Politics
11:33 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Archive: A Conversation With Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett

NEW EDUCATION COMMISSIONER: Tony Bennett was Superintendent of Public Instruction in Indiana for one term. He lost his re-election bid in November 2012, and was appointed Florida's schools chief by Gov. Rick Scott.
Credit Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana

Editor's Note:   Shortly after Tony Bennett began as the state's Education Commissioner last December, he sat down with WLRN's former StateImpact reporter Sarah Gonzalez.  They talked about his time as head of Indiana's school system and what plans he had for Florida's.  

Tony Bennett drove from Indiana over the weekend to start his first day as schools chief in Florida on Monday.

Last month the State Board of Education hired Bennett, a Republican who served as Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction for one term.

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Politics
11:24 am
Thu August 1, 2013

The School At The Heart Of Bennett Controversy: The Philanthropy And Philosophy Of Christel DeHaan

Christel DeHaan
Credit Matt Detrich / Indianapolis Star

Editor's Note:  On Monday, the Associated Press published emails from 2012 showing former Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett and his staff in Indiana discussing how to change that state's grading formula to boost the grade of an Indianapolis charter school run by a prominent Republican donor.

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Politics
11:12 am
Thu August 1, 2013

A Look At The Indiana Charter School At The Center Of Tony Bennett's Resignation

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 10:42 am

Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett is expected to resign today after the Associated Press published emails this week showing he and staff worked to change the state’s grading system in 2012, which boosted a charter school’s grade.

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Schools
3:34 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Florida's School Grading Formula Allows Districts To Check State's Work

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 2:31 pm

The big news out of Indiana yesterday was that in 2012 then-state superintendent Tony Bennett and staff discussed boosting the grade of a charter school.

Bennett now leads Florida schools and defended the change. The school, Christel House Academy, initially earned a C, but Bennett said Christel House performed as well as other A-rated charter schools.

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Politics
8:20 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Education Groups Come To Tony Bennett's Defense

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 3:15 pm

The Foundation for Florida’s Future and Michael Petrilli, writing at The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, are defending Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett’s decision to change Indiana’s school grading formula while leading Hoosier State schools in 2012.

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Schools
7:24 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Why School Grades In Florida Are Full Of Controversy

Florida legislators recently enacted what they call a safety net that ensures no school's performance drops more than one letter under the state's grading system. But despite students' academic improvement, there are a record number of F-rated schools this year.

An "A" was always the gold standard.  Every student knows that the better the grade, the greater the reward, whether the reward is a gold star, a trophy or a scholarship.

It’s no different for schools.  Since 1999, Florida schools have worked to measure student learning gains and to objectively measure teacher and school performance.  An "A" school brings recognition, prestige and financial gain.

But measuring school accountability has become more difficult than anyone thought it would be.  And, as recent legislative decisions show, may carry huge political consequences.

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Grading
12:38 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Which Districts Have The Most 'Safety Net' Schools?

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 11:24 am

Last week, 549 Florida schools earned a letter grade higher they they would have based on the state formula alone thanks to a State Board of Education-approved “safety net.”

That’s because no school grade could drop by more than one letter grade this year. School superintendents asked for the protection because more than 30 factor in the formula have changed the past two years.

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Standards
9:12 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Rubio Opposes Florida's Common Education Standards

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is the highest-profile Florida Republican to oppose Common Core State Standards.
Credit JIM LO SCALZO / EPA/LANDOV

Add U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida to those opposing shared education standards fully adopted by Florida and 44 other states.

The standards, known as Common Core, have been under fire from those on the political right and left. Conservatives argue the federal government coerced states with money to adopt the standards, undermining local control of education. Those on the left protest increased testing.

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Aerospace
12:02 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

What Happens When Science Teachers Go To A Rocket Launch

Lockheed Martin-NSTA Teacher Fellows Mary Maddox and Steve Kirsche watch the MUOS-2 satellite launch.
Courtesy Lockheed Martin

Lauren Case already knows what she’s going to say on the first day of school when her students ask what she did over summer break:

“I saw a rocket launch; it was awesome. You want to go too? Maybe you should become an engineer,” says Case, a 10th grade science teacher at South Fork High School in Stuart, Fla.

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