education

This week and next is a national rite of passage for stressed-out overachievers everywhere. Nearly 3 million high school students at 22,000 high schools will be sitting down to take their Advanced Placement exams.

Created by the nonprofit College Board in the 1950s, AP is to other high school courses what Whole Foods is to other supermarkets: a mark of the aspirational, a promise of higher standards and, occasionally, a more expensive alternative.

Two years ago, when Amanda Gomez could not get financial aid for community college, she decided to enroll part time at El Paso Community College in Texas. This gave her time to work to pay for her courses.

Being a part-time student has its pros — mainly a lighter course load. But Gomez feels like she misses out on some important experiences, like being able to stay back after class to talk to her instructors, or study in libraries on campus.

She says the difference was notable when she took a semester as a full-time student.

A white principal of a predominantly black elementary school who told her staff to put white students in the same classrooms is no longer at the Florida school.

South Florida middle schoolers are folding paper to teach their communities about Florida’s River of Grass.

Origami Everglades is an art project creating life-sized sculptures of the region’s endangered species.

Hear how the project uses a technique called “modular origami” to create the animals.

Origami Everglades is a 2016 Knight Arts Challenge winner. The Knight Foundation is accepting ideas for its 2017 grants through Friday. For details, click here.

For only the third time ever, the government released today a national report card examining the knowledge, understanding and abilities of U.S. eighth-graders in visual arts and music.

And in many ways, the numbers aren't great, with little progress shown in most categories since the last time the assessment was given in 2008. One bright spot: The achievement gap between Hispanic students and their white peers has narrowed. But Hispanics and African-Americans still lag far behind white and Asian eighth-graders.

Courtesy Freddie Young

The iconic images of school integration show determined black students making their way through jeering white crowds, just to take their seats in class. And at the head of those classes, teachers who were part of a workforce every bit as segregated as the student body.

It could become easier for parents and residents to challenge school textbooks under a bill passed by the Florida House.

Proponents like the bill’s sponsor, Naples Republican Bryon Donalds, say the legislation will better equip parents to contest material they feel is unsuitable for their children.

But critics contend that it could lead to censorship.

A specialized institution of higher learning has opened a new, permanent home at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base.

The Joint Special Operations University, or JSOU, has been educating special forces for 16 years, but it is now housed in an airy, glass and steel-framed building with a sunny courtyard.

WJXT

The state Senate is considering a $200 million program passed by the House that would speed up the process for closing underperforming public schools and funding charter schools in their place.

WUSF News

With three weeks left before the end of the regularly scheduled legislative session, the two chambers of the Florida Legislature are about $4 billion apart in their spending plans. While the gap is closing, the fundamental position of the top budget lawmaker in the House is to shrink state spending.

Every day in this country students come to school without a way to pay for lunch. Right now it's up to the school to decide what happens next.

Since new legislation out of New Mexico on so-called lunch shaming made headlines, we've heard a lot about how schools react.

Even for a generation raised in a climate of growing acceptance, for LGBTQ students -- expressing sexual orientation or gender identity at school, can still feel unsafe.

Broward County Public Schools

Around 2:30 p.m. last Tuesday, Broward County School Board Chair Abby Freedman faced an auditorium full of empty chairs, reading through a list of 17 scheduled speakers — “ Terry Preuss, Liliana Ruido, Julie Ganas, Joan King,” she said.

No one was there: On the school board’s written agenda for the meeting, public comment wasn’t supposed to begin for more than two hours, at 5 p.m.

Carron Case / WLRN News

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited Florida International University on Thursday, as part of a tour through educational institutions in Miami.

DeVos will be also visiting three elementary schools in Miami - the private Christian Academy for Reaching Excellence or CARE, the Sports Leadership and Management charter school or SLAM, and Royal Palm Elementary School, an “A” grade public school. She will be in the area until Friday.

Pages