Education

Education
11:06 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Holocaust Survivor Speaks To Miami Students About Peace, Bullying

Samuel Marder speaks to a fellow violin player and Miami Arts student after his presentation.
Credit Lisann Ramos

Sasha Crewsberkowitz, a student at Miami Arts Charter School, knows a few things about the Holocaust -- especially since she played Anne Frank in a performance. This week she learned some more from Holocaust survivor and world-renowned violinist Samuel Marder.

He spoke to middle- and high-school students at Miami Arts about the consequences of prejudice and bullying.

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StateImpact Florida
4:40 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Computer Programming Could Count As A Foreign Language

Learning to write computer code could replace foreign language courses.
Credit XKCD / XKCD.COM

Florida students could choose computer programming courses instead of a foreign language as part of a bill to help Florida schools add more technology and digital instruction.

The bill would require state colleges to accept two years of computer programming if the courses applied to a student's major. State universities would have the option of accepting those courses instead of a foreign language.

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StateImpact Florida
3:42 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

How Florida Lawmakers Want To Help Schools Get Ready For Digital Lesson

Sarasota County schools partnered with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation to upgrade middle school math and science classrooms.
Credit John O'Connor

Florida schools could get more money to upgrade classrooms, purchase new computers, tablets and other technology and train teachers and staff how to use them.

But they'll have to meet new goals set by the Florida Department of Education, submit annual technology plans and document how they're spending the money.

That's according to a bill supported by House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate Education committee chairman John Legg. The two Tampa Bay-area Republicans introduced the bill Friday.

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StateImpact Florida
7:47 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Three Questions: Jeb Bush On The State Of Common Core And Testing In Florida

Former Gov. Jeb Bush visited a Hialeah charter school for National School Choice Week.
Credit Sammy Mack / StateImpact Florida

Former Gov. Jeb Bush visited classrooms, observed students using their iPads, and took questions from a debate class at a high school in Hialeah this week.

His tour of the Latin Builders Association Construction & Business Management Academy high school — which is the first charter opened with a business association — was part of National School Choice Week.

Bush wrapped up the tour in the debate class by answering questions from journalists so the students could see how a press conference works.

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StateImpact Florida
8:04 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Scott, Lawmakers Making School Technology A Budget Priority

Both Gov. Rick Scott and lawmakers want to spend more money on school technology. The question is the best way to do so.
Credit UTNAPISTIM / Flickr

The chairman of the Senate's education committee said Gov. Rick Scott and lawmakers want to spend at least $40 million, and likely more, to upgrade schools' Internet capacity and add new computers, tablets and other digital tools.

Sen. John Legg, R-Port Richey, said education technology is a priority for Scott and both Republican and Democratic legislative leaders.

Legg said $40 million in Scott's proposed budget is a starting point.

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School Discipline
5:48 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

How A Broward County School District Is Rethinking Zero-Tolerance Policies

Some school districts are reconsidering their zero tolerance policies.
Credit Sattva / freedigitalphotos.net

In many schools, zero-tolerance discipline policies dictate harsh punishment — expulsion, suspension and arrest — for breaking rules.

But, as StateImpact Florida has been reporting, some districts are reconsidering zero tolerance after concerns about a rise in the number of children arrested on campus.

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Coding in Miami
2:22 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Entrepeneur Brings Tech Education To Minority Students

Felecia Hatcher helps a student write an HTML code.
Credit Hillary Lindwall/WLRN

  

Felecia Hatcher is on a mission. She wants to bridge the tech education gap in Florida's schools and give underserved students the chance to become web-based entrepreneurs. She started the program Code Fever last year to reach that goal.

"Technology will allow [the students] to build their businesses and catapult their ideas much faster and definitely much cheaper," Hatcher says.

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School Grades
10:38 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Why Miami Jackson Senior High School Wants Its 'A'

Miami Jackson Senior High wants an A grade
Credit Florida Department of Education / FLDOE.org

Florida’s A-through-F system for school grades has been fraught with controversy.

Supporters say the system is a way of holding schools and districts accountable. Critics worry the formula to calculate the grades doesn’t reflect how well schools really prepare children.

Now one school in Miami-Dade County has been told it probably won’t get the A it says it earned.

StateImpact Florida’s Sammy Mack spoke with the Miami Herald’s David Smiley about why Miami Jackson Senior High doesn’t want to accept a B:

 

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StateImpact Florida
6:50 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

What Education Is Like At An All-Girls Public Middle School

Ferrell Preparatory Academy students Ariana Jerome, Shawna Kent, Elena Postlewait and Destiny Jackson all say they prefer their all-girls school to the co-ed schools they previously attended.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Earlier this week we told you about a bill that would create a pilot program for single-sex elementary schools. Now, we asked Karen French, the principal of all-girls Ferrell Preparatory Academy, a public middle school in Tampa, about the differences in single-sex and traditional schools.

Q: I assume you’ve taught at both coed and single-sex schools. Is that right?

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Education
1:03 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Another School Choice In Florida: Single-Sex Classrooms

These boys are part of the All Male E.A.G.L.E. Academy at Bond Elementary School in Tallahassee. The acronym stands for Extraordinary Ambitious Gentlemen Leading in Excellence.
Gina Jordan/StateImpact Florida

A handful of public schools in Florida have either all-girls or all-boys classrooms. More could be coming.

Rep. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah, is behind a bill that would have one school in districts throughout the state offer only single-sex classes. The proposed legislation would create a pilot project in designated districts for two years.

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StateImpact Florida
4:41 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Jacksonville School Replaces KKK-Affiliated Name

The new name, Westside, is a nod to the neighborhood.
Credit Sammy Mack

Nathan B. Forrest High — the Jacksonville school named for the Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader — has a new name.

The Duval County School Board voted to rename school #241 on Tuesday. Starting in the fall it will be Westside Senior High.

From the moment it was named in 1959, there’s been controversy over Forrest High, home of the Rebels.

In 2008 the school board elected not to rename the majority African-American school.  The votes fell along color lines.

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StateImpact Florida
6:04 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

What’s Florida’s Education Plan? Lawmakers Expect Details This Week

Lawmakers expect Education Commissioner Pam Stewart to have a plan for the switch to Common Core. Stewart will speak to the Senate Education Committee next week.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

The chairman of the Senate education committee is asking the Florida Department of Education to have its plans for new standards and assessments ready when commissioner Pam Stewart speaks at a meeting next week.

The education committee will meet Wednesday in Tallahassee.

Chairman John Legg said what Stewart says could determine whether lawmakers delay new exams, or make changes to the school grading formula or teacher evaluations.

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StateImpact Florida
3:58 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Your Guide To Florida's New GED

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

Florida gets a new GED exam today. The high school equivalency test is going exclusively online.

Education advocates are greeting it with mixed feelings.

The new GED has been retooled to emphasize workplace and college skills. That’s part of why advocates say it makes sense to offer it only as a computer-based exam. Test-takers will also get their unofficial results instantly.

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StateImpact Florida
4:25 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Children's Authors On Education Policy: Michael Buckley Talks Bullying And Non-Fiction

Michael Buckley is a best-selling children's author.
Credit Abrams Books

  Children’s author Michael Buckley has spent a lot of time thinking about bullies. He’s the bestselling author of the NERDS series, which features a bunch of nerdy kids who deal with bullies during the school day and moonlight as top-secret superheroes the rest of the time.

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StateImpact Florida
12:41 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Children's Authors On Education Policy: Sheila Keenan Talks Common Core And Graphic Novels

Sheila Keenan is author of the new graphic novel, Dogs of War.
Credit Scholastic.com

Sheila Keenan, author of a new graphic novel for kids, called Dogs of War, says she tries not to think too much about classroom policies when she writes.

Her latest work is about the relationships between soldiers and dogs during World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War. It’s fiction, but she did a lot of research to make sure it was historically accurate.“Good storytelling is good storytelling,” says Keenan.

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