Education

When the Obama administration announced last year that it would overhaul the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, prospective college students (and their parents) cheered.

"Today, we're lending a hand to millions of high school students who want to go to college and who've worked hard," said Arne Duncan, who was at that time U.S. secretary of education. "We're announcing an easier, earlier FAFSA."

And it is both.

There's been lots of chatter on social media and among pundits, warning that the treatment of immigrant kids and English language learners is going to "get worse" under a Donald Trump presidency.

Some people on Twitter are even monitoring incidents in which Latino students in particular have been targeted.

But I wonder: When were these students not targeted? When did immigrant students and their families ever have it easy?

Courtesy Tampa Bay Times

The Friday night lights are shining over Skyway Park in Tampa as the Cambridge Christian School Lancers end their season undefeated with a 45 to 6 win over Carrolwood Day School.

The victory celebration then quiets down as the players and coaches march midfield to shake hand with their opponents. And as the crowd files out of the park the team gathers for a post-game prayer.

When Patricia Gentile was settling in as the new president of North Shore Community College in Massachusetts — about twenty miles north of Boston — she remembers looking out her window and seeing something strange.

"All of these cars rolling up, and tons of folks getting in and out," Gentile says, thinking about that January day a couple years ago.

"So I asked my assistant, 'What's going on down there?' "

Turns out that's where students were picked up and dropped off, but Gentile wondered why there were just so many cars.

How do you judge how good a school is? Test scores? Culture? Attendance?

In the new federal education law, states are asked to use five measures of student success. The first four are dictated by the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA. Three are related to academics — like annual tests and graduation rates. The fourth measures proficiency of English language learners.

Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

It's 12 noon on a school day in November: 12th grader Beltran Arellanes should be in his AP government class at MAST Academy, a magnet school and one of the highest-ranked high schools in Florida. Instead, he's walking into a Donald Trump rally at Bayfront Park Amphitheater in Miami, along with his ninth grade sister Casilda.

ITT Tech materials, courtesy of Waltter Teruel

Before he moved to Miami, Waltter Teruel sold antiques and life insurance in New York. Working as a recruiter at ITT Technical Institute in Hialeah was a welcome change. “I mean, if you’re a salesperson, you have to lie through your teeth,” he said, “but in this case, it’s one of the sales where you actually don’t have to lie at some point.”

The day before school let out in May, 9-year old Hailey Everett brought home a certificate for making the honor roll at Chocachatti Elementary School in Hernando County.  The next day, her grandmother and guardian Pam Everett got a call from the school's principal telling her Hailey would not be promoted to fourth grade.

Decision Florida: Is Your Vote Safe?

Oct 21, 2016
Associated Press

This week in Decision Florida, hosts Melissa Ross from WJCT and Tom Hudson from WLRN talk about voter access in light of the Donald Trump campaign's claims of a rigged election, how the November results will impact education in our state and the controversy around solar amendment 1.

With early voting starting on Monday October 24th, Susan Bucher, Supervisor of Elections in Palm Beach County, discuss the effects of extending the registration deadline one more week and how the County has been preparing for elections. 

It’s lunchtime at Jacksonville’s Lee High School, and Principal Scott Schneider walks down the school’s math hall. He says Lee has had its share of teacher vacancies.


The high school graduation rate in the U.S. reached an all-time high of 83 percent in the 2014-2015 school year, President Obama announced today, marking the fifth straight record-setting year.

Achievement gaps have narrowed even as all boats have risen. Graduation rates range from 90 percent for students who identify as Asian/Pacific Islanders to 64 percent for students with disabilities.

Parents and teachers are worried.

They believe that today's kids are growing up in an unkind world and that learning to be kind is even more important than getting good grades. But, when it comes to defining "kind," parents and teachers don't always agree.

That's according to a new survey of some 2,000 parents and 500 teachers from the educational nonprofit behind Sesame Street, Sesame Workshop.

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