StateImpact Florida

Education Essay
7:01 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Essay: What A Teacher Score Doesn't Tell Us

Teachers get a number score with the state's value-added model.
Credit vd1966 / flickr

I finally know my worth as a teacher—and now that the “value-added model” scores mandated by our state legislature are public, everyone else knows, too.  

I’m a 37.5.

But, I have no idea what that number means. 

Along with my 37.5, I was told I’m “highly effective” and given a $230 bonus. In case you’re wondering, that’s about half what the average teacher spends of his or her own money on school supplies per year.  

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StateImpact Florida
5:15 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

How Miami Coding Camps Are Teaching Students Old-School Logic

CodeNow's Kareem Grant works with students during a June coding camp in Miami. Grant likes that coding requires disciplined thinking.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Ryan Seashore starts off every CodeNow workshop with a simple request: Write out step-by-step instructions for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Then a CodeNow teacher pretends to be a robot, and follows the students’ orders exactly as they’re written.

Students quickly find that asking a computer to perform an everyday task isn’t so easy.

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StateImpact Florida
9:00 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Trouble With Algebra Problems? A Solution In Miami Classrooms

Teacher Sara Weinberg talks Miami Northwestern High School students through an Algebra Project assignment.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Math is a language. And like any language, teachers need to help students translate the language into terms they understand.

“This idea is to learn a language you have to talk it... you have to engage in it,” says Algebra Project founder Bob Moses.

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StateImpact Florida
5:53 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Algebra Project Teaches Miami Kids To Write Better Math Problems

Algebra Project founder Bob Moses.
Credit miller_center / Flickr

Fifty years ago Bob Moses organized volunteers to register voters in Mississippi during the Freedom Summer.

And for decades, Moses has been fighting for civil rights as an educator.

He won a MacArthur Genius Grant to develop a new way to teach algebra in largely low-income and minority schools.

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StateImpact Florida
10:35 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

What We Learned From A Year Watching Schools Prepare For Florida's New Standards

Darlene Paul, principal of West Defuniak Elementary, speaks to a student during a visit to a third-grade classroom. Paul says she has been impressed with the academic success of young students who have been taught only using the new Florida Standards.
Credit Jackie Mader / The Hechinger Report

For the past year the Hechinger Report and StateImpact Florida have taken you into two schools to hear what preparations for Florida’s new Common Core-based standards sound like. The standards outline what students should know in math and language arts. When classes start this fall every grade in every Florida public school will use them. But are schools ready?

Now, we share with you what we've learned along with the Hechinger Report's Jackie Mader.

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StateImpact Florida
6:21 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Students React To The Closure Of A Giant For-Profit College

An Everest Institute campus in Boston. Parent company Corinthian Colleges is closing Massachusetts campuses, but selling Florida campuses.
Credit Kirk Carapezza / WGBH

After a long reign as the fastest-growing and most problematic sector in higher education, for-profit colleges are on the ropes.

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StateImpact Florida
9:11 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Florida Students Talk About The State's Race-Based Education Standards

We spoke with a panel of students about Florida's race-based education goals.

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 7:15 am

Students and civil rights activists are still asking Florida to hold black and Hispanic students to a higher standard.

It’s been a little more than a year since the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County filed a federal civil rights complaint against the state’s race-based academic goals.

There have since been a number of protests by activists who oppose lower expectations for minorities.

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StateImpact Florida
9:11 am
Mon July 14, 2014

More Schools Earn Failing Grades As Florida Prepares For Common Core Switch

The Florida Department of Education has released 2014 school grades for Florida elementary and middle schools.

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 2:04 pm

The Florida Department of Education has released 2014 school grades for Florida elementary and middle schools.

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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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