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.
For decades now, public education has been in “crisis.” And since the founding of the U.S. Department of Education, we’ve searched for ways to promote student achievement and prepare for global competitiveness.
There is little question as to why. As the workforce becomes more educated, and increasingly globalized, an educated workforce becomes increasingly important. And study after study proves that educational attainment leads to economic mobility.
Jon Hage may be one of the most important school leaders you probably have never heard of. No one elected him to a school board or hired him as a superintendent.
But his company, Charter Schools USA based in Fort Lauderdale, is one of the fastest growing charter school operators. It runs more than a dozen schools in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and has expanded to a half dozen more states.
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.
During the past several weeks, South Florida business executives from manufacturing, hospitality and other industries have told The Sunshine Economy how challenging it is for them to find qualified employees locally.
For years, Miami-Dade County Public Schools faced problems common to many urban schools: low attendance, high dropout rates, poor grades. But since 2008, Alberto Carvalho has been in charge of the nation's fourth largest school district, and there've been some noticeable improvements in Miami schools. More students are graduating, fewer are dropping out, test scores are up and the district's budget crisis has faded.
NPR's Claudio Sanchez has this profile of the man some call a miracle worker.
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
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.
Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 10:37 am
Editor’s note: Names of students and teachers have been changed.
Knowing we were going to be talking about former students, Lisa Perry told me she got out some letters she had saved and read through them. The exercise inspired her to get in touch with four of her students from over 20 years ago. (“Facebook is a wonderful thing,” she told me.)