John O'Connor

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StateImpact Florida
8:11 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Changing GED Adds New Problems To An Old Test

Uzelea Evans, right, and Cynthia Williams, left, talk with GED teacher Travis McGinnis at Metropolitan Ministries. The GED is changing in January, and McGinnis said his students have been planning since September whether to take the old test or the new GED.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Uzelea Evans has had a tough run recently.

Her unemployment payments have been hung up for six weeks because of the state’s new online system. And the mother of five lost her Tampa housing and has to move out next month.

But she’s working hard toward some good news in a classroom at Metropolitan Ministries – passing the GED exam.

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StateImpact Florida
9:24 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

More Florida Teachers Earn Top Ratings In 2012-2013 School Year

Sarasota County math teacher Brenda Fuoco.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

  Nearly 98 percent of Florida teachers earned a top rating, according to initial statewide teacher evaluation data released Tuesday, a slight increase over last year's results.

About one-third of teachers earned the top rating of "highly effective," up from 23 percent of teachers last year. About 66 percent were rated "effective," the largest category this year.

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StateImpact Florida
11:31 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Florida Scores On National Test Improve, But Eighth Graders Still Trail National Average

Florida students improved their scores on all four sections of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, but eighth graders still trail the national average.

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:19 am

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StateImpact Florida
5:14 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Why Remedial Classes Are No Longer Required At Florida Colleges

Hillsborough Community College's Dale Mabry campus.

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 11:33 am

Khadejah Gilbert found out she wasn’t quite ready for higher education when she enrolled in Hillsborough Community College.

She's one of many students who had to take brush up in basic subjects before starting her associate of arts degree in liberal arts.

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StateImpact Florida
7:20 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Feedback Loop: What Readers Think Of Common Core Standards

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 10:38 am

Readers tell us what they think of Common Core standards.

Merrycrafts / Flckr

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StateImpact Florida
4:46 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Three Questions For Teachers About Common Core Standards, Part 3

Teresa Stillman teaches at Cannella Elementary in Hillsborough County.

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 12:46 pm

Teresa Stillman teaches at Cannella Elementary in Hillsborough County.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

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StateImpact Florida
12:00 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Three Questions For Teachers About Common Core Standards, Part 2

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:47 am

As we’ve attended summer training sessions for teachers on new Common Core State Standards, we’ve been asking teachers the same three questions.

Florida is one of 45 states to fully adopt the Common Core State Standards, which outline what students are expected to know in math and English at the end of each grade. Every grade in Florida is scheduled to use the standards beginning next school year.

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StateImpact Florida
11:29 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Three Questions For Teachers About Common Core Standards, Part 1

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 12:10 pm

Yesterday we told you that we spent a lot of time at summer Common Core training sessions for teachers.

One of the things we were curious about is how teachers felt about the new education standards fully adopted by Florida and 44 other states.

We asked teachers the same three questions about Common Core as they prepared for next year’s deadline to use the standards in every Florida classroom.

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StateImpact Florida
8:18 am
Thu August 22, 2013

This Week In Education Polling

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 1:46 pm

The start of the school year in Florida and many parts of the country has meant a glut of new education polls asking about shared education standards, standardized testing, teacher evaluations and policies adopted by Florida and other states.

The most noteworthy poll is the annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll of education issues. This is the 45th year of the poll. The poll sampled 1,001 adults and had a margin of error of 3.8 percent.

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StateImpact Florida
4:32 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Five Things We Learned About Common Core This Summer

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 3:08 pm

We spent a lot of time this summer watching and listening as Florida school districts trained teachers about what to expect when the state makes the full switch to new education standards next year.

Florida is one of 45 states to fully adopt the Common Core State Standards, which outline what students are expected to know in math and English at the end of each grade. The standards also put more emphasis on reading and writing in other subjects.

Here’s five things we learned:

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StateImpact Florida
8:37 am
Mon August 19, 2013

New Standards Will Require Rewriting Expectations, But Not School Grading Formula

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 1:31 pm

Last month State Board of Education members turned on Florida’s school grading system.

The board was being asked to voted on two temporary changes which would soften the impact of several years of changes to the state formula which assign schools and districts an A-to-F rating. One change would prevent schools from dropping more than one letter grade this year, while another would change how

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StateImpact Florida
10:03 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Tony Bennett's Last-Minute School Grade Changes Benefited 165 Indiana Schools

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 11:58 am

Our colleagues at StateImpact Indiana have crunched the numbers and found that 165 schools benefited from changes to the school grading formula former Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett made in 2012 while the elected leaders of Hoosier State schools.

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StateImpact Florida
5:09 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

St. Johns County Republicans Have A Few Questions About New Education Standards

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 8:15 am

The St. Johns County Republican Assembly is the latest GOP group to ask questions — quite literally — about new education standards fully adopted by Florida and 44 other states.

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StateImpact Florida
8:23 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Is Florida's School Grading System Too Complicated?

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 3:17 pm

Florida officials made just two major changes to the state formula which determines A-to-F school grades during the first six years of its use — adding a component to measure student test improvement from year-to-year and expanding the number of students included in the formula.

But since 2010 the state has made 16 changes to the formula, including adding new test results, increasing target test scores, factoring in high school graduation rates and accelerated coursework and adding scores for students with disabilities or those learning English.

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Common Core
10:24 am
Thu August 8, 2013

New York Scores Drop On Test Tied To Common Education Standards

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 1:44 pm

Educators say the percentage of students meeting state goals on Florida’s math and reading tests will decline after the state switches to new standards known as Common Core.

How bad will it be? Check out the test results released today in New York.

Just 31 percent of New York students in third through eighth grades were proficient on the new math and reading exam. Last year, 65 percent were proficient in math and 55 percent were proficient in English on different exams.

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