StateImpact Florida

StateImpact Florida
5:47 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Former Florida Education Commissioner Settles Indiana Ethics Charges

Former Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett has settled Indiana ethics charges that he used state computers for campaign reasons.
Credit Tony Bennett / StateImpact Indiana

Former Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett will pay a $5,000 fine as part of a proposed deal with Indiana ethics investigators, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by the Associated Press.

Bennett admits using state resources for his 2012 reelection campaign. But Bennett was also cleared of any ethics violations related to changes he sought to Indiana’s school grading formula in 2012.

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Money And Schools
5:11 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

How Miami-Dade Schools' Superintendent Would Like To Spend $2.9 Billion

Miami-Dade County Public Schools is working on plans for a $2.9 billion budget.
Credit Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

The public got a sneak peak of the proposed budget for Miami-Dade County Public Schools at its most recent budget workshop.

It’s not final yet, but the superintendent has sketched out a plan for the $2.9 billion budget.

You can hear more on where school leaders would like the money to go:

And you can see the presentation from the meeting:

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Florida Standards Assessments
4:51 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Check Out The Practice Questions For The New FCAT Replacement

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

The Florida Department of Education has released practice questions for the new assessments that will replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test next year.

The tests, which are aligned to the new Common Core-based Florida Standards, are available at the Florida Standards Assessments website.  Some questions are similar to what students might have seen on the FCAT—asking test-takers to identify main ideas in a text or figure out a percentage in a word problem.

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Essay
4:32 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

How To Teach Brown V. Board To A Class Of All Black Students

Sixty years after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, not all classrooms reflect the dream of desegregation.
Credit stockimages / freedigitalphotos.net

Here’s a question: How do you teach a class of all black students in an all-black school that Brown v. Board of Education ended segregation decades ago?

That isn’t a hypothetical question, but one I remember clearly asking myself. I was teaching American History for the first time in one of our nation’s many embarrassingly homogeneous schools. I could not, with a straight face, teach my students that segregation had ended.  They’d think that either they or I didn’t know what the word segregation meant.   

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StateImpact Florida
2:05 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Summer Boot Camp Might Solve A Ninth Grade Algebra Problem

Dywayne Hinds, Pinellas County schools director of middle school education, is helping target incoming ninth graders for a summer Algebra 1 boot camp.

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 9:57 am

Dywayne Hinds, Pinellas County schools director of middle school education, is helping target incoming ninth graders for a summer Algebra 1 boot camp.
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Change
1:41 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Nathan B. Forrest High Begins Transition To Westside High

From left, Ben Weaver and Jim Minion of Farm Out Design Services, hold the "W" that will go on the exterior of soon-to-be Westside High School.

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 4:40 pm

Nathan B. Forrest High School’s physical transformation into Westside High School has begun.

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StateImpact Florida
12:03 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Fill In The Blank: The First Day Of Summer Is Like _____.

This is what the first day of summer feels like for some folks.

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 9:25 am

This is what the first day of summer feels like for some folks.

chrisroll / freedigitalphotos.net

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Broward Bond
5:08 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Broward School Board Asks Voters For $800 Million Bond

The $800 million would go towards school renovations and technology upgrades.
Credit ddpavumba / freedigitalphotos.net

Broward County voters will have a big decision to make about school funding in November.

The School Board of Broward County School approved a resolution to put a bond vote on the fall ballot.

Broward schools are asking for $800 million — most of which will go towards school renovations and technology upgrades, says Superintendent Robert Runcie.

The school district has to overcome a reputation damaged by a history of mismanagement and corruption.

You can hear more here:

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Brown V. Board of Education
11:47 am
Mon June 9, 2014

What Desegregation Was Like In Miami

Miami-Dade County schools were some of the first in Florida to desegregate.
Credit Marlin Levison / Miami Herald

Brown v. Board of Education — the Supreme Court decision declaring segregated schools were inherently unequal — turns 60 years old this year.

Earlier this week, we brought you memories from students and teachers who were there in the early days of desegregation.

And now, with decades of perspective, here are some of the things they learned from integration:

"You don't get black or white from kids"

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Arts Education
1:55 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

How An Arts Program Is Changing A School's Culture

Leslie Augustin, 13, an eighth-grade student in the guitar class, gets individual attention from Jonathan De Leon, founder of the guitar program at the school.
Credit Daniel Bock / Miami Herald

Correction: An earlier version of this story identified Michael Kamen as the director of the the film, Mr. Holland's Opus. He in fact is the composer who wrote the film score.

When Jonathan De Leon left his home state of New Jersey to teach at North Miami Middle School in 2007, he immediately saw possibility — both in the school and the students.

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StateImpact Florida
11:44 am
Thu June 5, 2014

How A Conflict In Florida Policies Means The End Of A Student Help Desk

Students man a computer help desk at Ocoee High School and assist classmates. The school has to end the program because of a state requirement for end-of-course exams.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

A recurring theme in Florida education is that policies intended to address separate issues can and do conflict with each other.

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StateImpact Florida
3:10 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Report: It Will Cost $3.2 Billion To Upgrade Schools To Wireless Internet

To meet requirements for online testing and digital instruction, schools are considering laptop carts like this for classrooms.

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 9:25 pm

To meet requirements for online testing and digital instruction, schools are considering laptop carts like this for classrooms.
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Common Core
3:08 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Will New Florida Standards Leave Time For Creative Writing?

Laurie Langford, a second grade teacher at West Defuniak Elementary, helps two students look for evidence in a reading passage about public sector jobs.

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 8:53 am

Laurie Langford, a second grade teacher at West Defuniak Elementary, helps two students look for evidence in a reading passage about public sector jobs.
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Influence In Education
2:47 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

How Much Influence Does Koch Money Have At FSU?

Florida State University is facing criticism over the influence of donor money in the classroom.
Credit frameangel / freedigitalphotos.net

There are questions about whether a conservative political group has too much influence at a public college. Florida State University rewrote its agreement with the Charles Koch Foundation after some on campus complained that the relationship undermined the school's academic integrity. But critics say it still gives donors with their own agendas too much influence in the classroom. NPR's Greg Allen reports: 

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Testing
11:46 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Third Grade Passing Rates On FCAT Math And Reading Flat

The percentage of Florida third graders passing state reading and math exams was unchanged this year.
Credit shinealight / Flickr

The percentage of Florida third graders passing the state's FCAT math and reading exams did not improve this year -- remaining largely flat for the past three years -- according to initial test results released Friday.

Fifty-seven percent of third graders scored at least a 3, the state's passing score, on the reading test. On the math exam, 58 percent of third graders scored a least a 3.

Writing scores were mixed. A higher percentage of eighth and tenth graders passed the writing exam this year. But fewer fourth graders passed the exam.

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