Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

A year ago, Miami-Dade County Public Schools made a splash by eliminating out-of-school suspensions. At the time, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho cited research saying sending kids home made them fall behind in school and made them more likely to get into trouble again.

Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

For a week this past summer, the football field at Booker T. Washington High School was home to a marching band larger than any the school itself had seen in years.

Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

Some 200 young people from schools throughout Broward and Miami-Dade are lined up on a football field while instructions come over the loudspeaker from a perch high in the stands.


Sandra Teramo never got to finish the list of local politicians she blames for the rapid expansion of charter schools in Miami-Dade County. “[State Rep.] Erik Fresen, other politicians such as City Commissioner...''



“Ma’am, I would appreciate it that you don’t mention names,” came the voice of School Board Chairwoman Perla Tabares Hantman. “Names are not allowed.”


Some 79 South Florida elementary schools will have an extra hour in the day this year, part of a program meant to boost performance at schools with low reading scores on state tests.

Poinciana Park Elementary School, in Liberty City, is one of many schools that’s been on the so-called “Lowest 300” list for several years running. WLRN’s Rowan Moore Gerety spoke with the principal there, Dr. Amrita Prakash, about the ups and downs of the program.


When the latest “School Grades” were released last week, districts across the state scrambled to portray their results in the most favorable light possible: they focused on rules changes that led to a statewide drop in the proportion of A schools (Miami-Dade), or pointed out the number of schools that had held their A grades steady (Broward); they considered “A and B schools” together as a group.



Lindsey Williams / Twitter

“A successful superintendent has to satisfy many constituencies, keeping high achievers in the system while devoting resources to those who need them most,” Anthony Hamlet told reporters at a Pittsburgh press conference on the day he was tapped as the district’s next superintendent.

Ending Out-Of-School Suspensions Is Still A Pending Assignment For Miami-Dade

Jun 14, 2016
Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

Madeleine Meran lost her temper in school and wound up getting suspended from North Miami Beach Senior High School.

Her punishment: 10 days at a Success Center – a site set up by the Miami-Dade County school system to give kids a place to go when they misbehave instead of simply kicking them out of school.

Meran, a senior at the time, went for one day. When her school work didn’t show up there, she didn’t see the point of going back.

“It was just ridiculous,” she said. “For the nine days remaining, I just stayed home.”

Rowan Moore Gerety

As a high school freshman, Aaron Willis was paralyzed from the waist down in a drive-by shooting while riding his bike in Wynwood. Wednesday, Willis graduated from Booker T Washington High School on the honor roll.


Willis wore a look of sheer determination as he walked across the stage to claim his diploma, walking with the aid of crutches and robotic leg supports. The friends and classmates who filled the auditorium lost it, their screams gradually coalescing into chants of “Aaron, Aaron.”


For many students in Florida, summer vacation means finally getting out of the classroom and away from tests and homework.  But for some, the Summer also means figuring out where the next meal will come from. Now there are efforts underway to address hunger in North Florida—especially at times when a major food program—the school—is no longer in session. 

Collier County Public Schools

A lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges Collier County Public Schools are refusing to enroll immigrant students, a violation of federal and state law. Instead, the complaint says, 16- and 17-year-olds from Haiti and Guatemala have been steered to English-only adult-education classes.

Middle School Students Take The Law Into Their Own Hands

May 17, 2016
Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

Brownsville Middle School students visiting the Police Academy recently got a stark warning from recruit Albert Hightower: “I have friends who’s dead; I have friends who’s in jail…Do not, do not let the environment you’re in right now dictate what you become,” Hightower said, drawing on his own experiences growing up near Brownsville, in Liberty City.

Go Fund Me / Caitlin Walsh

What began as one principal’s decision to change a fundraising event from tackle to a flag football game has flared into a controversy over sexism and tradition entangling scores of frustrated students and parents, the Palm Beach County School Board and the Jupiter Town Council.

Nicole Poulin

What should a school do when parents don’t want their kids to take a standardized test?  Public school students across Florida are in the midst of testing season, and state law says the tests are mandatory; there’s no formal mechanism to “opt out.” But plenty of Florida parents are instructing their children to do just that.

Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

Next year’s state budget boasts what Governor Scott has called record funding for K-12 education. After deep cuts spurred by the Recession, per-pupil spending, known as FEFP, or Florida Education Finance Program has indeed hit a new high—but not when you account for inflation.