John O'Connor

Reporter

John O’Connor is a reporter for StateImpact Florida, a project of WLRN and WUSF covering education. John writes for the StateImpact Florida blog and produces stories for air on Florida public radio stations.

John is a former political reporter for The (Columbia, S.C.) State and the Daily Record in Baltimore. He has a bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland. He was chosen as the South Carolina Press Association 2009 Journalist of the Year.

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Cornell University

Three months ago, W. Kent Fuchs became president of the University of Florida, leaving New York’s Cornell University.

Fuchs says Florida universities are adding new faculty, but opposition to higher tuition means more pressure to find private donations.

The University of Florida is also expanding a new online program with a goal of eventually enrolling 24,000 students.

Fuchs sat down with WLRN’s StateImpact Florida reporter John O’Connor to talk about the issues in higher education.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald news you heard:

 

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

xinntii / Flickr

The federal government should ban overdraft fees for financial accounts established through a partnership between banks and colleges and universities, according to a new report from the Center for Responsible Lending.

Those overdraft fees can cost students hundreds of dollars a year -- more than books -- on accounts often set up to handle financial aid payments.

wcsryanhartley / Flickr

Testing experts say so far Florida's problems with its new statewide exam, the Florida Standards Assessments, are likely not serious enough for the state to consider throwing out this year’s test scores.

Photo on left by Wyn Van Devanter, right by Katie O'Connor / Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/5idr27)

Miami Beach is celebrating its centennial on Thursday with a giant concert with performances by Gloria Estefan, Andrea Bocelli and Flo Rida.

And while non-South Floridians and some sports anchors might not realize there's a difference between Miami and Miami Beach, people who live in each city hold a lot of pride for their hometowns. And sometimes, it leads to rivalry.

So my colleague John O'Connor and I each took up the cause for our side of the causeway. Take a listen for what lovers of each city had to say:

departmentofed / Flickr

Nearly one in five Florida third graders were at risk of being held back because of low scores on the state reading test last year.

But this year the state might not hold back any third graders. That’s because a Senate committee voted to suspend those penalties this year.

The bill requires an outside group to make sure the state test results are statistically valid.

Sen. David Simmons says he wants to make sure schools and the state can depend on Florida Standards Assessments results before making big decisions using those results.

JD Hancock / Flickr

School districts would have to share local school construction and maintenance money with charter schools, according to an amendment filed by an influential state senator.

Sen. Don Gaetz, former Senate president, filed the amendment Tuesday. The amendment would require half of the money raised by an optional local property tax to be split between charter and traditional schools on a per-student basis.

Clevis Harrison / PBS

This week, PBS is launching a new documentary series, "180 Days."

One of the films focuses on Hartsville, South Carolina, a rural and poor district which has managed to become one of the highest rated school districts, according to South Carolina's ranking.

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