Education

Teachers
8:10 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Florida Teachers Sue To Toss Performance Pay As An Intrusion On Bargaining Rights

TOUGH CASE: Judge John Cooper tells teachers he doesn't know how he'll rule in their suit against performance pay.
Credit FEA

TALLAHASSEE -- Lawyers for a group of teachers asked a Leon County judge on Wednesday to throw out a nearly two-year-old state law aimed at tying teacher's pay and evaluations more closely to student performance.

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StateImpact Florida
2:00 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Report Says Florida A National Leader In Charter School Growth — Another Says It’s Not Fast Enough

Volunteers build a playground at a charter school in Tampa.
Credit Kaboomplay/Flickr

The number of charter schools operating in the United States has surpassed 6,000 for the first time, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Charters are now serving a record 2.3 million students based on estimates from the current school year. But a pro-choice non-profit says Florida school districts are preventing more charters from opening.

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StateImpact Florida
7:01 am
Mon January 14, 2013

New CPALMS Website For Teachers Makes Common Core Lesson Plans A Snap

JUST CLICK: The CPALMS website is a handy resource for teachers developing Common Core lesson plans.
Credit Administrador Galeria Uninter/Flickr

As states start phasing in Common Core standards in public school classrooms, no Common Core textbooks have been written yet, and new assessments are still being developed.

So, teachers are creating their own lesson plans as they begin to implement the standards.

They’re not doing it alone.

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Education Policy
9:00 am
Sun January 13, 2013

What Research Says About ‘The Florida Model’ Of Education Policy

Researcher Matthew Di Carlo has gathered the studies and put Florida's education policies under the microscope
Credit BREAHN / FLICKR

At the Shanker Blog researcher Matthew Di Carlo reviews the effectiveness of the suite of education policies often called the “Florida model.”

These ideas include assigning A through F grades to schools and school districts based in part on standardized test results, retaining low-performing third graders, expanding school choice, teacher evaluations and others.

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Source For Standards
9:00 am
Sat January 12, 2013

Teachers Get Help With Common Core Lessons Through CPALMS

Florida teachers are benefiting from resources about Common Core through CPALMS.
Credit ADMINISTRADOR GALERIA UNINTER/FLICKR

As states start phasing in Common Core standards in public school classrooms, no Common Core textbooks have been written yet, and new assessments are still being developed.

So, teachers are creating their own lesson plans as they begin to implement the standards.

They’re not doing it alone.

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Education Evaluations
4:00 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Researcher Tears Apart Gates Foundation Teacher Evaluation Study

Jay P. Greene says the Gates Foundation is ignoring its own data in concluding classroom observations should be part of teacher evaluations.
Credit COMEDY_NOSE / FLICKR

University of Arkansas education professor Jay P. Greene has weighed in on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s conclusions about its teacher evaluation study.

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StateImpact Florida
11:30 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Why States Are Designing Two Tests For Common Core Standards

Common Core assessments are being developed by two consortia of states.

Forty-five states and the District of Columbia are working toward full implementation of Common Core standards.

But there's a split in the way states will measure what students have learned. Two different testing systems are on the table.

One test will average a series of test results to determine a student’s score. The other is a single, adaptive test which tailors questions based on a student’s past answers.

The tests are being designed now for use by 2014-15.

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Prof. James Tracy
6:00 am
Fri January 11, 2013

FAU Prof With Controversial Newtown Theories Says He Was Misunderstood

JAMES TRACY: 'There are certainly people that lost their loved ones, there is no doubt of that.'
Credit Ryan Murphy / University Press

Most of the victims of the Newtown school massacre were just like Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy's daughter: seven-year-old first graders at a public school.

"If a similar tragedy were visited upon me and my family, I would be beside myself," he says. "But I think one of my ways of healing would be attempting to find out what went wrong, where was the failure."

But trying to start a public discussion of the public's small hope of ever finding out what went wrong has been costly. 

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Dental Health
11:52 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Amazing Sealants Defeat Childhood Tooth Decay But Does Florida Care? Study Says 'No'

CHEAP AND PAINLESS: Dental sealants can reduce decay by 60 percent. A critical study says Florida needs more school-based sealant programs.
Credit Oral Health Florida

Florida is missing a cheap and easy bet for improving the dental health of its children, according to a new survey.

The Pew Children's Dental Campaign gives the state a "D," mostly because it does little to make sure kids have access to decay-fighting tooth sealant programs in public schools.

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StateImpact Florida
9:30 am
Tue January 8, 2013

How Florida Earned Second-Highest Grade On A National Education Policy Report Card

PARTNERS: StudentsFirst founder Michelle Rhee has advised Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Her group is recommending changes to Florida education policies
Credit Huffington Post

California-based StudentsFirst has released a report card grading states on their education policy.

Florida earned the second-highest grade in the country, a B-, behind only Louisiana. No state earned an A.

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StateImpact Florida
6:38 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Three Questions For An Elementary Principal About Common Core

Florida is in the process of transitioning to common core standards in public schools.

The first full year of implementation is scheduled for 2014-15.

45 states and Washington, D.C. have agreed to adopt common core standards.

The standards will measure whether students across the country are reaching certain benchmarks in English, Math and Language Arts.

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The Kids Are Alright
3:47 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Report Cards Are In: Almost Half Of Florida's High Schools Earn An 'A'

This year the number of 'A' grades for high schools raised from 31 percent to 47 percent.

The State Board of Educations recently permitted many changes that paved the way for higher grades to label Florida's high schools with. 

According to State Impact, "The board lowered the passing grade on the state writing test, suspended the penalty for schools whose lowest-performing students did not improve their scores and only allowed school grades to drop by a maximum of one letter."

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13th Grade
10:22 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Talk To Us: What We Should Know About Remedial Education At Florida's Colleges

Wendy Pedroso did well in math classes -- until her first algebra course. Twice as many students at Florida colleges took a remedial math course than took a remedial writing or reading course.
Credit fcir.org

The series on remedial education at Florida’s colleges by NPR’s StateImpact Florida and the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting has prompted lots of conversations: Why are so many high school graduates needing remediation in college?  Should a high school diploma be a certificate of college readiness -- perhaps only for some students.

We chatted online with StateImpact’s Sarah Gonzalez and FCIR’s Mc Nelly Torres along with a social media audience of students, educators and people interested in education policy.

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Profile
9:00 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Indiana Gov. Would Have 'Walked Through Coals' For Florida's New Schools Chief

CONVERSATION CHANGER: Educator Tony Bennett
Credit StateImpact

Before he was voted out of the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in Indiana -- and well before he was appointed Florida Commissioner of Education -- Tony  Bennett pushed for a controversial package of education initiatives that brought Indiana to the forefront of a national conversation about how to transform public schools.

And it all began with a restaurant conversation between Bennett and Indiana Board of Education member Todd Huston, who was urging him to run for superintendent.

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Learning Online
12:28 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Florida's 13th University May Be Online Only

CONNECTED LEARNING: Online courses are the first to fill up, experts say.

Florida's next public university could be Online U.

Depending on how the Florida Board of Governors reconciles several issues with  expert recommendations, the Legislature may be asked next year to establish the 13th state university for Internet students only.

The indicators are good for welcome and acceptance by degree-seeking students, according to Gina Jordan's story for StateImpact Florida:

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