Education

Education
9:07 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Foes Of High-Stakes Public School Testing To Meet In Fort Lauderdale

Rosemarie Jensen, administrator for United Opt Out, an organization opposing high-stakes testing.
Credit UnitedOptOut.com

Across Florida, parents and teachers are pushing back against standardized testing in public schools. One way is simply “opting out” – or keeping their children from taking the test.

And now a national organization opposed to public education's reliance on standardized tests is bringing its message to Fort Lauderdale.

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StateImpact Florida
5:42 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Fewer And Better: How Lawmakers Want To Change State Testing

Most students will take the Florida Standards Assessments online.
Credit Extra Ketchup

When lawmakers return to Tallahassee in March for the annual legislative session, they have a lot of questions they need to answer about public school testing.

Senators laid out their concerns about the state testing system last week at a series of meetings.

They don’t know how many tests the state requires or how long it takes to complete those exams.

They don’t know how much the state and school districts spend on testing.

And they’re not convinced they can depend on all the results of those exams.

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The Cost of College
5:27 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

South Florida College Leaders Support President's Free College Plan

The president of Broward College supports President Barack Obama's proposal to offer students two years of college tuition-free.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

The leaders of two of the nation’s largest community colleges say they support President Barack Obama's proposal to give students two years of college for free.

Obama proposed the idea in Tennessee Friday.

In a written statement, Broward College president J. David Armstrong says the proposal could mean more training for teachers, nurses, paramedics, firefighters and police. That's good for the economy, he says.

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Education
11:37 am
Fri January 9, 2015

New Teachers Would Earn $50K Under Proposal In Tallahassee

Starting teacher salaries would automatically adjust for inflation each year under a bill proposed in Tallahassee.
Credit Dondu.Small/flickr

Beginning teachers would earn a minimum $50,000 salary starting next school year under a bill proposed this week in Tallahassee.

Sen. Darren Soto (D-Orlando) filed the bill, which cites a need for the state to attract and retain teachers. It seeks to increase their pay without affecting other personnel and programs.

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School Rankings
12:23 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Florida Comes In 28th On State Education System Rankings

Florida earned a C grade on this year's Education Week state rankings, coming in 28th overall.
Credit lwr / Flickr

Florida's earned a C grade and ranked 28th overall on this year's Education Week Quality Counts ratings.

Education Week gave the state strong scores for equity in student achievement. Test results show minority students generally perform better in Florida than other states, and the gap between white and minority students scores is smaller in Florida than other states.

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Florida Legislature
5:46 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Florida Senators Raise Testing Questions At Budget Hearing

Lawmakers seem ready to reconsider the amount and scope of required testing.

State Senator Bill Montford, leader of the Florida's school superintendents association, said he's not sure schools will have the technology in place for new online exams this spring.

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart told the Senate Education Appropriations committee that Florida's new statewide tests, the Florida Standards Assessments, are on track for use beginning in March. The tests are tied to new Common Core-based math, reading and writing standards.

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Education
3:57 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Report Says Small Schools Trump Small Classes In Academic Outcomes

Maureen Yoder addresses students at the School of Arts and Sciences in Tallahassee.
Credit Gina Jordan/StateImpact Florida

The School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) in Tallahassee has just over 300 students, and the waiting list to get in is much longer.

Maureen Yoder is one of the founders of the 15-year-old K-8 charter school.

“We started this school with the intent of keeping it small because we want to create a school family,” Yoder says. “We believe that the relationship between the teacher and the students is the primary reason students succeed – besides a good home base.”

This is sixth grader Mary Stafford’s first year.

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Education
3:27 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Why Emotional Learning May Be As Important As The ABCs

Thomas O'Donnell reads about Twiggle the Turtle to his kindergartners at Matthew Henson Elementary School in Baltimore.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 11:03 am

Thomas O'Donnell's kindergarten kids are all hopped up to read about Twiggle the anthropomorphic Turtle.

"Who can tell me why Twiggle here is sad," O'Donnell asks his class at Matthew Henson Elementary School in Baltimore.

"Because he doesn't have no friends," a student pipes up.

And how do people look when they're sad?

"They look down!" the whole class screams out.

Yeah, Twiggle is lonely. But, eventually, he befriends a hedgehog, a duck and a dog. And along the way, he learns how to play, help and share.

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Obituary
3:31 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Robert McCabe, Who Helped Expand Miami Dade College, Dies At 86

A MIAMI INSTITUTION: Robert H. McCabe, who was president of Miami Dade College from 1980 to 1995 and helped build the school’s national reputation, celebrated with wife, historian Arva Moore Parks, during the March 1997 dedication ceremonies for a campus building named in his honor, Robert H. McCabe Hall and the Betty and Alvah Chapman Conference Center.
Credit Al Diaz / Miami Herald

During the time Robert McCabe was president of Miami Dade College, no school in the country awarded as many associate of arts degrees.

McCabe, 86, died of cancer Tuesday night.

His widow, Arva Moore Parks, says her husband had a simple philosophy for education.

“That everybody could achieve if you help them along," she said. "He really, truly believed that – and he proved it.”

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StateImpact Florida
8:49 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Education: The Year In Review -- And What To Expect In 2015

Barry University's Sean Foreman thinks Gov. Rick Scott will deliver on a promise for record per-student education funding.
Credit John O'Connor / WLRN

2014 was a big year for education in Florida.

Activists in Lee County convinced the school board to ditch state testing -- before the board reversed the decision a couple of days later.

Florida schools pushed ahead with new Common Core-based math and language arts standards in every grade, despite rising opposition to Common Core across the country.

And education was a top issue during the governor’s race.

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Education
7:35 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Florida Senate President Expects Legislative Hearings Into School Testing

Students are taking a lot of practice tests on paper, but Florida's new standardized assessments will be online.
Credit Ryan McGilchrist/flickr

Teacher and parent groups say Florida public school students are spending too much time taking – and getting ready for - assessments.

Now, Senate President Andy Gardiner says lawmakers will likely hold hearings to review the amount of testing being done.

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StateImpact Florida
6:01 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Why Miami-Dade High School Students Are Teaching Their Classmates About Health

HIP founder Risa Berrin says the program always provides food during after school training sessions because some students don't get regular meals at home.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Abuse. Drugs. Mental health issues.

It’s tough enough for anyone to talk about those problems. It can be even harder for teens facing them for the first time.

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Education
3:49 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Why Math Might Be The Secret To School Success

There's a real lack of math learning in pre-K. In one study, in fact, just 58 seconds out of a full preschool day was spent on math activities.
Kaylhew Flikr Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 2:01 pm

Little children are big news this week, as the White House holds a summit on early childhood education on Wednesday. The president wants every 4-year-old to go to preschool, but the new Congress is unlikely to foot that bill.

Since last year, more than 30 states have expanded access to preschool. But there's still a lack of evidence about exactly what kinds of interventions are most effective in those crucial early years.

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StateImpact Florida
11:56 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Why First-Generation Students Find It Tougher To Earn A College Degree

Cecilia, one of the students featured in "First Generation," will be in Miami for a screening Tuesday. This is a still from the documentary.
Credit Courtesy of "First Generation."

Students who are the first in their family to attend college often have a more difficult time finishing their degree.

Research shows those students know less about how to get into and pay for college. They're also less likely to take tough high school courses needed to prepare for college.

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Coding
8:25 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Miami-Dade Students To Learn Basics Of Coding Through International Program

Kids throughout Miami-Dade will be learning the basics of coding this week.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

 This week, Miami-Dade schools will participate in Code.org's Hour of Code initiative. School board member Raquel Regalado says Florida high-tech jobs are growing, and students need to be ready. 

She stresses that for today's kids coding will become like typing was to earlier generations.

"In the same way that right now we all handle our own email, this generation is going to handle their own apps, their own basic web development," says Regalado.

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