Gina Jordan

Gina Jordan reports from Tallahassee for WUSF and WLRN about how state policy affects your life.

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Education
4:21 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

New Lawsuit Claims Florida Teacher Evaluations Are Unconstitutional

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 1:11 pm

The Florida Education Association and National Education Association filed a federal lawsuit today challenging the constitutionality of Florida’s teacher evaluation system.

The system was created under a law passed in 2011 known as Senate Bill 736.

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Parent Trigger
4:41 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Parent Trigger Supporters Try To Debunk 'Misconceptions' About The Bill

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 2:17 pm

Supporters of the parent trigger bill held a briefing with reporters today near the Capitol.

The briefing was hosted by Patricia Levesque, executive director of the Foundation for Florida’s Future. The foundation was created by former Gov. Jeb Bush.

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Charter School Evaluations
11:51 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Florida Senate President Says Teachers Shouldn't Expect An Even Playing Field

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:43 pm

Supporters say the charter school bill that has a good chance of passing Florida’s Republican controlled Legislature this year will better regulate charters and expand choices for parents.

One thing the bill won’t do is require the same evaluations for charter school teachers as traditional public school teachers.

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StateImpact Florida
5:37 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Florida Legislative Leaders Say This Is The Year For The Parent Trigger Bill

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:02 pm

The parent trigger bill is back, and House Speaker Will Weatherford thinks it has a good chance of passing this year.

He even tweeted about it shortly after the bill was filed.

“It’s great public policy. It empowers families. It empowers parents, gives them the choices that they need,” Weatherford told StateImpact Florida. “It engages them in the education of their children.”

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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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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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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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Casino Gambling
6:37 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Why 2013 Florida Legislature Will Hear No Casino Bills

Too Much? Some think this over-the-top rendering of a casino idea for the Herald site may have worked against the 2012 gambling bill.

Gina Jordan's casino legislation story.

The proposal to build mega-casinos in South Florida never made it to a final vote in the last session of the Florida Legislature. Now it looks like the issue may not be coming up again for at least another year.

Senate President Don Gaetz is setting up a new committee to examine Florida gambling which he says is both over- and under-regulated. But Gaetz is considered an opponent of gambling and he's in no hurry to pass a casino gambling bill.

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News
5:01 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Florida License Plate Proposal Delayed After Outcry From Tax Collectors

Leon County Tax Collector Doris Maloy
leontaxcollector.net

The redesign of Florida license plates is on hold.

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles wants new license plates that are easier for toll booth cameras and red light cameras to read.

But the agency withdrew its request for approval by the Florida Cabinet Tuesday.

The DMV is tweaking the plan in part because of concerns by county  tax collectors that private companies will be hired to issue the new plates.

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Politics
2:39 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Gov. Scott On Race-Based Scoring: ‘We Should Have High Standards For Everybody'

The State Board of Education strategic plan utilizes race-based scoring to help close the achievement gap.
Jamesnaruke/flickr

Gov. Rick Scott wants the State Board of Education to change its plan to set passing scores based on a student’s race. But he isn’t saying what the board should do to alter the plan.

Every child should be performing on grade level in subjects like math and reading, Scott says. “I mean, I learn differently than other people learn, but I do know that all children can learn,” Scott says, “and we should expect we should have high standards for everybody.”

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Politics
6:15 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Analyst: Rick Scott Begins Unofficial Reelection Bid With Focus On Teachers

Governor Scott hears from teachers at Southwest Miami High.
FLGOVSCOTT/Flickr

Gov. Rick Scott is trying to appease educators.

They didn’t like it when he chopped $1.3 billion in education funding from the state budget.

They liked it even less when he called for an expansion of charter schools and other alternatives to traditional public schools.

So, while most people are focused on the November ballot, USF Political Scientist Seth McKee says Scott appears to be ramping up his 2014 reelection campaign by extending an olive branch to teachers.

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Politics
11:46 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Elections Supervisor: “Perfect Storm” Of Long Lines Ahead For Voters

Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho
leonvotes.org

At the urging of the Obama campaign, Florida voters are showing up at elections offices around the state to fill out absentee ballots.

This comes on the heels of elections supervisors in Broward and Palm Beach counties advising voters to get absentee ballots and mail them.

The reason: long ballots and possibly long waits.

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Agriculture
11:12 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Agriculture Commissioner Says Industry Needs 'Stable, Legal Workforce'

Starfruit inside Sarasota Jungle Gardens
DeusXFlorida/flickr

Immigration and agriculture go hand in hand.

That's what community and business leaders in Tallahassee recently heard from Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

He said immigration reform is vital to the health of the state’s agriculture industry

Putnam told the Economic Club of Florida he is concerned the U.S. is losing business to developing countries that have different standards for hiring farm workers.

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Politics
4:08 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Judge: Former Republican Party Head Jim Greer Can Sue Two State Senators

Mugshot of former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer. A judge in Tallahassee ruled Greer can continue his lawsuit against two state senators.
Florida.arrests.org

A civil lawsuit filed by former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer against two state lawmakers can proceed.

A judge in Tallahassee on Monday refused to toss out the suit against Senate President Mike Haridopolos and Sen. John Thrasher. Greer is suing them as well as the state Republican party over severance pay he says they promised him.

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