Miami-Dade County Public Schools

'These Kids Are Stressed Out of Their Minds:' Four Mothers Lobby for More School Recess

Apr 25, 2016
Emily Michot / Miami Herald

Recess every single day of the week: That's the rallying cry of four mothers lobbying Miami-Dade schools after a bill to require daily recess failed to make it out of the Legislature this year. The Miami Herald's Christina Veiga and WLRN's Rowan Moore Gerety talked with Debora Hertfelder, Louisa Conway, Kate Asturias and Victoria Kenny about why they think free time at school is so important.

Read Christina Veiga's story in the Miami Herald here.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Lineth Mardomingo, a third-grader at Coral Terrace Elementary School, calls her latest piece of art, "Spinny Scroll." The piece is inspired by a memory: the time she dropped a crayon on the floor and saw it spinning, then kept spinning it and spinning it and then started spinning herself, and then bumped into a wooden bed.

"That was a long time ago and I was, like, 5," Lineth says. Now older and wiser, she says the colors she chose for her piece -- dark blue and light purple -- are the same colors as the crayons in that memory.

Classes in Miami-Dade and Broward are scheduled as normal. That's the message from the districts after receiving a bomb threat Wednesday night similar to the ones recently made in Los Angeles and New York.

Parents are encouraged to still send their kids to school on Thursday.

The threats came in the form of an email Wednesday night.

Both Miami-Dade and Broward schools reached out to local, state and federal authorities. That's when it was determined that the threat was not credible.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

With fresh haircuts and the knowledge lunch would be waiting on the bus when they arrived, about two dozen Miami Northwestern High School students headed to Washington, D.C. early Thursday morning.

This is an annual trip put together by an organization called 5000 Role Models of Excellence. The group arranges service projects for students who join the club and helps them find mentors.

They’ll be meeting with Civil Rights leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, attending the Congressional Black Caucus’ annual conference and visiting the White House.

Miami Herald

Florida House members were so impressed by testimony about school uniforms earlier this year -- convenience, improved safety and better discipline -- that they offered up $10 million to districts requiring uniforms.

The Miami-Dade school board likes the idea too. They required uniforms for elementary and middle schools.

Miami-Dade superintendent Alberto Carvalho says that’s easy money.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

    

John O'Connor / WLRN

Miami-Dade school officials will track how much minority-owned subcontractors are paid and create a new program to make sure district contracts are properly awarded.

Last month, the Urban League of Miami and the local NAACP released an audit they said showed black-owned businesses received a disproportionately low share of district contracts.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho says he appreciated the response.

Charles Trainer Jr. / Miami Herald

When Monica Howell gave birth to her daughter Celeste earlier this year, the Miami-Dade school teacher knew she wanted to breastfeed for as long as possible.

On her first day back in the classroom after maternity leave, Howell carried a new set of supplies: an electronic breast pump, ice packs and storage containers for her milk.

She met with her assistant principal to schedule the times she planned to pump.

"Her reply to me was, 'Absolutely not, we cannot accommodate breastfeeding mothers,'” Howell said.

John O'Connor / WLRN

The Urban League of Miami and the local NAACP want the Miami-Dade school district to stop work on a $1.2 billion bond project to renovate schools and upgrade their technology.

The groups believe black-owned businesses aren’t getting a fair chance at school construction projects.

A district review of contracts -- a legal requirement if the district wants to allocate contracts based on race or gender -- re-ignited the long-simmering dispute. The district review found black-owned businesses received a disproportionately larger share of district subcontracts.

Creative Commons via Bob Nichols / USDA

For years, public schools have offered free breakfast and lunch to kids from low-income families. But a new study says only a fraction of those who get their free lunch are eating their free breakfast. In Miami-Dade County, for every 100 students who get free lunch, only 41 are taking advantage of the morning meal.

Adam Mizrahi / Flickr CC

  New testing data shows Hillsborough County schools beat the performance of other large urban school districts in math and reading. Miami-Dade fourth grade readers outscored other large urban districts, but were on par in eighth grade reading and fourth and eighth grade math.

StateImpact Florida

Miami-Dade schools has earned top honors for successfully expanding access to tough, college-level courses while improving passing scores, the College Board announced Monday.

Miami-Dade Teachers To Vote On Contract, Raises

Oct 30, 2013
Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

Thousands of Miami-Dade teachers will cast ballots Oct. 30 in a ratification vote on a tentative contract agreement hashed out this month between district negotiators and the United Teachers of Dade.

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.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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.