StateImpact Florida

School Grades
10:38 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Why Miami Jackson Senior High School Wants Its 'A'

Miami Jackson Senior High wants an A grade
Credit Florida Department of Education / FLDOE.org

Florida’s A-through-F system for school grades has been fraught with controversy.

Supporters say the system is a way of holding schools and districts accountable. Critics worry the formula to calculate the grades doesn’t reflect how well schools really prepare children.

Now one school in Miami-Dade County has been told it probably won’t get the A it says it earned.

StateImpact Florida’s Sammy Mack spoke with the Miami Herald’s David Smiley about why Miami Jackson Senior High doesn’t want to accept a B:

 

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StateImpact Florida
6:50 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

What Education Is Like At An All-Girls Public Middle School

Ferrell Preparatory Academy students Ariana Jerome, Shawna Kent, Elena Postlewait and Destiny Jackson all say they prefer their all-girls school to the co-ed schools they previously attended.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Earlier this week we told you about a bill that would create a pilot program for single-sex elementary schools. Now, we asked Karen French, the principal of all-girls Ferrell Preparatory Academy, a public middle school in Tampa, about the differences in single-sex and traditional schools.

Q: I assume you’ve taught at both coed and single-sex schools. Is that right?

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Education
1:03 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Another School Choice In Florida: Single-Sex Classrooms

These boys are part of the All Male E.A.G.L.E. Academy at Bond Elementary School in Tallahassee. The acronym stands for Extraordinary Ambitious Gentlemen Leading in Excellence.
Gina Jordan/StateImpact Florida

A handful of public schools in Florida have either all-girls or all-boys classrooms. More could be coming.

Rep. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah, is behind a bill that would have one school in districts throughout the state offer only single-sex classes. The proposed legislation would create a pilot project in designated districts for two years.

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StateImpact Florida
4:41 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Jacksonville School Replaces KKK-Affiliated Name

The new name, Westside, is a nod to the neighborhood.
Credit Sammy Mack

Nathan B. Forrest High — the Jacksonville school named for the Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader — has a new name.

The Duval County School Board voted to rename school #241 on Tuesday. Starting in the fall it will be Westside Senior High.

From the moment it was named in 1959, there’s been controversy over Forrest High, home of the Rebels.

In 2008 the school board elected not to rename the majority African-American school.  The votes fell along color lines.

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StateImpact Florida
6:04 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

What’s Florida’s Education Plan? Lawmakers Expect Details This Week

Lawmakers expect Education Commissioner Pam Stewart to have a plan for the switch to Common Core. Stewart will speak to the Senate Education Committee next week.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

The chairman of the Senate education committee is asking the Florida Department of Education to have its plans for new standards and assessments ready when commissioner Pam Stewart speaks at a meeting next week.

The education committee will meet Wednesday in Tallahassee.

Chairman John Legg said what Stewart says could determine whether lawmakers delay new exams, or make changes to the school grading formula or teacher evaluations.

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StateImpact Florida
3:58 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Your Guide To Florida's New GED

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

Florida gets a new GED exam today. The high school equivalency test is going exclusively online.

Education advocates are greeting it with mixed feelings.

The new GED has been retooled to emphasize workplace and college skills. That’s part of why advocates say it makes sense to offer it only as a computer-based exam. Test-takers will also get their unofficial results instantly.

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StateImpact Florida
4:25 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Children's Authors On Education Policy: Michael Buckley Talks Bullying And Non-Fiction

Michael Buckley is a best-selling children's author.
Credit Abrams Books

  Children’s author Michael Buckley has spent a lot of time thinking about bullies. He’s the bestselling author of the NERDS series, which features a bunch of nerdy kids who deal with bullies during the school day and moonlight as top-secret superheroes the rest of the time.

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StateImpact Florida
12:41 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Children's Authors On Education Policy: Sheila Keenan Talks Common Core And Graphic Novels

Sheila Keenan is author of the new graphic novel, Dogs of War.
Credit Scholastic.com

Sheila Keenan, author of a new graphic novel for kids, called Dogs of War, says she tries not to think too much about classroom policies when she writes.

Her latest work is about the relationships between soldiers and dogs during World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War. It’s fiction, but she did a lot of research to make sure it was historically accurate.“Good storytelling is good storytelling,” says Keenan.

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Education
12:29 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

The Florida Education Stories To Watch In 2014

StateImpact Florida covers education policy in Florida.
Credit Daniel Moyle

IMPLEMENTING NEW COMMON CORE STANDARDS

Florida is one of 45 states that have fully adopted new math, English and literacy standards known as Common Core. Political opposition to the standards built throughout the year in both Florida and across the country.

Every Florida grade is scheduled to switch to the new standards this fall. The standards outline what students should know at the end of each grade.

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Education
12:06 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

The Biggest Florida Education Stories of 2013

Education Commissioner Tony Bennett is under criticism resigned his post on August 1. Pam Stewart was chosen to replace Bennett.
Credit Tony Bennett / StateImpact Indiana

Here’s our pick for the biggest education stories of 2013 — a few of which will likely dominate 2014 as well.

TONY BENNETT’S RESIGNATION

Bennett came to Florida in January with a reputation as a rising star among self-proclaimed education reformers and a leading voice for the Common Core English, literacy and math standards fully adopted by 45 states. He also came on the heels of losing his reelection bid as Indiana’s state schools chief to Democrat Glenda Ritz.

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StateImpact Florida
8:50 am
Fri December 27, 2013

The Best Of StateImpact Florida From 2013

Emma Jane Miller speaks against Common Core State Standards in October. She said standards developed with support from private groups is education without representation.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

From Common Core, to Florida's next standardized test and changes to high school graduation requirement, education was a top story time and again this year.

Here's a selection of some of our most important, interesting and favorite education stories of 2013.

Click on the headlines to read the full story and listen to the broadcast versions.

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StateImpact Florida
3:17 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Test Results Compare Hillsborough, Miami-Dade To Other Large Districts

Brickell Skyline from the Miami River
Credit 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.

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StateImpact Florida
3:03 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

As The GED Goes Online, Companies Develop Print Alternatives

Two companies have designed alternatives to the GED. Those new tests still allow students to take a pencil and paper version.
Credit albertogp123 / Flickr

As the GED prepares for a major overhaul in January, a growing number of states are trying a new class of tests designed as alternatives to the GED.

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StateImpact Florida
1:40 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

More Florida High Schools Earn A, F Grades

Bartow High in Polk County.
Credit http://www.ib-bhs.com

Nearly half of Florida high schools -- 48 percent -- earned an A grade on the state's report card, according to a report Florida Department of Education released Wednesday.

That's up from 31 percent of high schools earning a top grade two years ago. More than 80 percent of Florida high schools earned an A or B grade. No Miami-Dade or Broward County schools earned Fs.

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StateImpact Florida
8:15 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Jacksonville School Board Rejects KKK-Affiliated School Name

Credit Wikimedia Commons and Sammy Mack

 

    

In 1959, Forrest High was named for Nathan Bedford Forrest — the Civil War general and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

After more than a half century of controversy, Nathan B. Forrest High School in Jacksonville is looking for a new name.

But Monday night, on the recommendation of Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, the Duval County School Board voted unanimously to rename the high school.

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