Education

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Ashley Jean is graduating from Miami’s iPrep Academy this week. And then she’s planning to travel the world.

Jean will start a global studies program through Long Island University that will eventually take her to places like Costa Rica, Australia, Bali and Spain.

That’s a lot of plane tickets.

“I don’t want money to be a reason why I can’t change my life,” Jean says, “so I have to work hard to do what I can to get this program.”

Creative Commons via Flickr / Boston Public Library (https://flic.kr/p/dm191d)

Today on the Florida Roundup, we're talking special session, soccer and Spanish.

SPECIAL SESSION

At 1 p.m. Monday afternoon gavels will fall in the Florida House and Senate, calling to order a special session of the state Legislature. Lawmakers have only one piece of business to take care of: pass a budget before July 1 or risk a state government shutdown.

Of the more than 600 charter schools in Florida. Some focus on the arts, some on sciences. Others are high schools that help students who are at risk for not finishing or dropping out completely.

At the crossroads of  busy four lane highway in Clearwater, students have to make their way through the noise and exhaust of heavy traffic to get to their high school classes.

Tucked in the back of of a strip mall is Enterprise High School. The 5-year-old charter school focuses on just one kind of student, those at risk for not finishing high school at all.

Take Stock In Children

A former dean at Miami Dade College has been chosen to lead the Florida College System.

Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart has chosen Madeline Pumariega to be chancellor of the state's system of community colleges.

Pumariega worked for more than a decade at Miami Dade College, including serving as dean of students at the Wolfson Campus. She has been the president and CEO of Take Stock in Children since 2013.
 

The statewide non-profit takes students at risk of dropping out of high school and helps them complete college.

John O'Connor / WLRN

Florida lawmakers’ decision to end mandatory final exams for every class will mean that more teachers’ performance will be judged on subjects they don’t teach.

Concerned about the amount of testing in schools -- and pressured by activists and educators -- this year lawmakers rescinded a state law that requires school districts to have a standard final assessment in any class that doesn’t already have a statewide exam. In most cases that’s a test, but it could be a final project or compilation of a student’s work.

John Oliver spent 18 minutes taking on standardized testing, teacher evaluations and all things “accountability” related on his show, “Last Week Tonight.”

And, of course, Florida plays a starring role.

Warning: Salty language, off-color jokes and test monkeys ahead.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Rain is terrible when you’re trying to give tours of your new garden.

But it’s great for the spinach, sweet potatoes and purple passion fruit rapidly taking root.

On a very rainy day, Kelsey Pharr Elementary third graders Ronnield Luna and Jeffrey Arroyo are showing grownups around what used to be a grass field.

Now the school in Miami’s Brownsville neighborhood has several thousand square feet of all kinds of fruit and vegetables.

Some you can find at your supermarket.

Steven Martin / Flickr/Creative Commons

A twist to the end of the state legislative session means lawmakers need to reconvene again. 

Legislative Session

Kirk Carapezza / WGBH

Miami Herald reporter Michael Vasquez has spent a year digging into Florida's for-profit college industry for a series called Higher Ed Hustle.

About 300,000 Florida students attend for-profit colleges, which often specialize in training low-skill workers for a new career.

But students often find their degree doesn't qualify for the career they were seeking, and they graduate with tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

Pages