On The Florida Roundup: Our state's leadership goes through more upheaval, this time with the resignation of Education Commissioner Tony Bennett. He will be the fifth education head (including interims) to depart in the 31 months since Governor Rick Scott took office.
Why has there been so much turnover? What impact does the latest change have on students and teachers?
Plus: the Hialeah shooting drew national attention again to gun deaths in our state. We look at what factors - or at least correlations - can be gleaned about violence and gun ownership.
Florida legislators recently enacted what they call a safety net that ensures no school's performance drops more than one letter under the state's grading system. But despite students' academic improvement, there are a record number of F-rated schools this year.
An "A" was always the gold standard. Every student knows that the better the grade, the greater the reward, whether the reward is a gold star, a trophy or a scholarship.
It’s no different for schools. Since 1999, Florida schools have worked to measure student learning gains and to objectively measure teacher and school performance. An "A" school brings recognition, prestige and financial gain.
But measuring school accountability has become more difficult than anyone thought it would be. And, as recent legislative decisions show, may carry huge political consequences.
Add U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida to those opposing shared education standards fully adopted by Florida and 44 other states.
The standards, known as Common Core, have been under fire from those on the political right and left. Conservatives argue the federal government coerced states with money to adopt the standards, undermining local control of education. Those on the left protest increased testing.
Earlier this week we published an email sent to Florida Republicans urging their support for Common Core State Standards fully adopted by Florida and 44 other states. The letter was signed by five former Republican Party of Florida chairmen, including American Conservative Union chairman Al Cardenas.
Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 10:58 am
Five former Republican Party of Florida leaders have sent out an email asking state GOP members to support new education standards adopted by Florida and 44 other states.
The letter is signed by state Sen. John Thrasher and four other former state party chairmen. When Florida has raised its standards in the past, Thrasher wrote in the email, it has resulted in better scores on international tests and gains from black and Hispanic students.”
Almost all the states and Washington, D.C., are grappling with a big challenge as the new school year nears: getting teachers up to speed on the Common Core, a sweeping set of new education standards for English language arts and math.
The Common Core will soon apply to most of America's students from kindergarten through high school. The policymakers behind the Core know that it could fail if they don't help teachers make the change. So this summer, the state of Maryland has been hosting what it calls "academies" to do just that.