Education

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The Governor's Race
7:15 am
Mon October 27, 2014

What A Second Term Of Rick Scott Or Charlie Crist Will Mean For Florida Education

Former Gov. Charlie Crist, now a Democrat, and current Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, have made education a top issue on the campaign trail.
Credit Michael Laughlin / South Florida Sun Sentinel

Note: This story was originally posted on Oct. 14. The audio is an updated version of the story.

Polls show Governor Rick Scott and former Governor Charlie Crist are polarizing. Voters are as likely to dislike the candidates as they are to approve of them.

So both candidates are talking about schools, colleges and scholarships -- to motivate their supporters.

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School Choice Lawsuits
5:09 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Court, Public Relations Battle Over Florida Private School Programs Heating Up

The Florida Education Association has amended its challenge of a new school choice law in the Leon County's Second Judicial Circuit.
Credit flguardian2 / Flickr

The legal and public relations battle over Florida's private-school scholarship programs continues, with the statewide teacher's union revising its lawsuit and a school choice group producing a new television ad supporting the programs.

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Education
1:32 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

South Florida State House Candidates Agree There's Too Much Testing

Republican, Democrat and independent candidates were unanimous Tuesday -- Florida schools test too much.
Credit shinealight / Flickr

The candidates running for three South Dade state House seats -- Republican, Democrat, independent -- all agree that Florida students and schools spend too much time testing.

Candidates running for the Florida House of Representatives in the 112th, 114th and 115th districts gathered for an education forum Tuesday night at Palmetto Middle School.

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Education
4:00 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Florida Will Fight U.S. Education Department Over English Learners

Althea Valle teaches a class of ELL's. She says of the new federal requirement, "I think it’s going to put a lot of pressure on the schools to get these kids where we think they should be."
Credit Gina Jordan/StateImpact Florida

A 10th grader born in Haiti struggles to read in his class at Godby High School in Tallahassee. The student is more comfortable with Haitian Creole than English. Teacher Althea Valle has students of various nationalities trying to master the language.

“It’s a challenge,” Valle says. “There’s a lot of gesturing, and you know sometimes I feel like I’m onstage and sometimes I have to be onstage to make myself understood.”

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Common Core
3:36 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Palm Beach School Board Member Says Lawmakers Set "Unrealistic Expectations"

Jennifer Prior Brown is stepping down from the Palm Beach County school board, but she says teachers won't have enough time to prepare students for the state's new math standards.
Credit freedigitalphotos.net

An outgoing Palm Beach County school board member says the state’s new math standards are too tough, and that schools don’t have enough time to get kids up to speed.

Palm Beach County school board member Jennifer Prior Brown brought a fourth grade homework problem to Thursday’s board meeting.

Wayne and Cheryl have 72 marbles between them, the problem asked. Cheryl has two more than four times as many as Wayne. How many marbles does Cheryl have?

“So I quickly came up with an algebraic equation, right?" Prior Brown asked, before meticulously walking through the steps.

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Politics
6:19 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Why Education Is A Top Issue In The Governor's Race

Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic opponent Charlie Crist are making education a top issue during the campaign.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Polls show Governor Rick Scott and former Governor Charlie Crist are polarizing. Voters are as likely to dislike the candidates as they are to approve of them.

So both candidates are talking about schools, colleges and scholarships -- to motivate their supporters.

“Education is an issue that is helping to appeal to the base," says Sean Foreman, a Barry University political science professor and chairman of the education committee for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

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StateImpact Florida
11:06 am
Mon October 13, 2014

How A Miami Middle School Added Speech And Debate Classes On A Budget

Veldreana Oliver has taught physical education for 28 years at Allapattah Middle School. More recently, her principal asked her to teach writing, speech and debate.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Last week StateImpact Florida told you how a middle school in Miami has added speech and debate courses this year to improve reading, writing and speaking.

The school’s principal, Bridget McKinney majored in debate and thought the requirements for Florida’s new Common Core-based standards sounded a lot like her college classes. She needed a writing teacher for new speech and debate courses she wanted to create.

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Diversity
7:16 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Miami-Dade Schools Will Track Minority-Owned-Business Contracts

Ron Frazier led a review of Miami-Dade schools' contracts for the Urban League of Miami and the NAACP. The district and the groups have reached an agreement to more closely track district contracts.
Credit 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.

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StateImpact Florida
5:32 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Why A Miami Middle School Is Teaching Debate To Conquer Common Core

Allapattah Middle School principal Bridget McKinney sits in on one of the speech and debate classes she's required her students to take. McKinney says the Common Core standards emphasis using evidence and making arguments.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Bridget McKinney, principal at Miami's Allapattah Middle School, says her students struggle to pass the state's reading and writing tests.

So when McKinney first read the Common Core math and language arts standards used in Florida schools this year, what jumped out was the emphasis on answering questions and making arguments using examples and evidence from what students are reading.

It took McKinney back to college -- she was a speech major. So she decided her sixth, seventh and eighth graders would have to take a speech and debate course each year.

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Education
5:05 am
Fri October 3, 2014

After Protests Over History Curriculum, School Board Tries To Compromise

Students line a busy intersection and overpass in the Denver suburb of Littleton, Colo., on Sept. 25, protesting a Jefferson County School Board proposal to emphasize patriotism and downplay civil unrest in the teaching of U.S. history.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 3:56 pm

Hundreds of Colorado high school students have walked out of class in the past two weeks to protest proposed changes to the Advanced Placement history curriculum.

The firestorm of protest was sparked by a resolution in August from Jefferson County school board member Julie Williams. When she heard that conservatives across the country were upset about the new AP history curriculum, she proposed a committee to review the district's courses.

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Education
5:36 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Five South Florida Schools Earn Blue Ribbon Honors

The King's Academy in West Palm Beach celebrates their Blue Ribbon honor.
Credit The King's Academy

Five South Florida schools have been named National Blue Ribbon schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

Two schools in Miami-Dade County, one in Broward County and two in Palm Beach County joined more than 330 other schools on the national list.

The five winning South Florida schools include a magnet school, two charter schools and two private schools.

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Technology
5:06 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Kids And Screen Time: Cutting Through The Static

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 6:46 pm

The walls are lined with robots and movie posters for Star Wars and Back to the Future. But this is no 1980s nerd den. It's the technology lab at Westside Neighborhood School in Los Angeles, and the domain of its ed-tech coordinator, Don Fitz-Roy.

"So we're gonna be talking about digital citizenship today."

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Environment
6:28 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

October King Tide Brings Trove Of Data For Sea-Level Threat In Miami Beach

TIDAL SCENE: The October King Tide of 2013 was a problem in Miami Beach. This was the scene at 10th Street and Alton Road.
Credit Arianna Prothero / WLRN

Another King Tide will wash over South Florida on Oct. 9.

That’s the alignment of the Earth, sun and moon in a way that gives us the highest tides of the year. And this one will bring an opportunity for local students who are really serious about climate change and sea-level rise to glimpse and document coastal Florida’s possible future.

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StateImpact Florida
8:38 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Why The ACLU Is Challenging Single-Gender Classes In Florida Schools

The ACLU is worried single-gender classes might reinforce stereotypes of the 1950s.
Credit Gardiner & James Families / Wikimedia Commons

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed federal complaints against school districts in Broward, Hernando, Hillsborough and Volusia counties over the use of all-girls or all-boys classes. The ACLU wants the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to investigate the programs.

StateImpact Florida’s Gina Jordan spoke with Galen Sherwin, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, about the complaints.

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