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StateImpact Florida
12:13 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Miami-Dade Schools Chief Wants To Delay Testing, School Grades

Miami-Dade superintendent Alberto Carvalho, from right, Gov. Rick Scott and Southside Elementary principal Salvatore Schiavone tour the school last month.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said Florida leaders should rethink the scope and purpose of education testing, and give schools more time to prepare for new math and language arts standards.

Carvalho's proposal was published online and emailed to reporters. Carvalho has also been tweeting excerpts since Monday.

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Testing Revolt
2:05 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Lee County School Board Reverses Testing Boycott

Testing opponents quietly show support for speakers at Tuesday's Lee County school board meeting. The board voted 3-2 to reverse its state testing boycott.
Credit Ashley Lopez / WGCU

The Lee County school board has reversed its decision to reject state tests, after board member Mary Fischer changed her mind. Last week the board became the first in Florida to refuse to offer state tests to its students on a 3-2 vote.

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Testing
12:24 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Miami-Dade Schools Test All Year Long

Out of the 180-day academic year, Miami-Dade County schools will administer standardized tests on every day but eight.
Credit Roberto Koltun / el Nuevo Herald

  The testing doesn’t stop.

Out of the 180-day academic year, Miami-Dade County schools will administer standardized tests on every day but eight.

Though not every student will take every test, the number and consequences of testing are facing a growing backlash from parents, teachers and even some district officials.

The Miami Dade School Board on Wednesday will approve its assessment schedule for the next school year — a calendar with dozens of different exams that start at preschool and even eat into summer vacation.

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Education
1:14 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Florida Democrats At Odds Over Standardized Tests

Credit Flickr / Bill Selak

Teacher unions everywhere are mad.

Educators say after 12 years of implementing standardized tests nationwide those assessments are proving impediments to teachers. If they don't get the reforms they’re demanding they say the president should oust his secretary of education, Arne Duncan.

South Florida Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings understands the anger directed towards Washington bureaucrats who, he says, play a limited role in what happens in Florida schools.

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Penmanship
9:20 am
Fri August 29, 2014

FIU Study Finds Link Between Good Handwriting And Good Grades

Art may be another way parents can help their children practice their fine-motor skills, says FIU professor Laura Dinehart.
Credit Jeffrey James Pacres / Flickr

Do you have sloppy penmanship? A Florida International University professor's research finds that kids whose writing is easy to read tend to do better in school.
 

After examining the handwriting of 3,000 preschool students in Miami-Dade County, an FIU study found good handwriting and good grades are related.

FIU early childhood education professor Laura Dinehart focused her study on students from low-income households.

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Education
12:38 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Recapping The Results From Tuesday's Education Races

South Florida school boards remain mostly unchanged after Tuesday's elections.
Credit vox_efx / Flickr

South Florida school boards remain unchanged after Tuesday's election, with incumbents winning in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

That includes Ann Murray, whose use of a racial epithet in 2007 was an issue as she sought reelection to Broward County's school board. Murray narrowly defeated Felicia Mychele Brunson. Four other incumbents won reelection as well.

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StateImpact Florida
6:24 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Opting Out Of Testing Would Come At A Cost For Florida School Districts

Florida school boards are considering saying no to the state on standardized tests.
Credit sboneham / Flickr

UPDATE: Wednesday night, Lee County's school board became the first in Florida to reject required statewide exams. The board voted 3-2.

The consequences of that decision aren't clear yet. The Florida Department of Education said Wednesday that the agency was still weighing its response.

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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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Education
5:57 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

If Re-Elected, Gov. Scott Pledges To Put More Funding In Education

Gov. Rick Scott pledged Thursday a jump in state per-student spending if elected again.
Credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Republican Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday announced a plan to raise per-student spending to a record level next year.

Scott's proposal calls for $7,176 for each student in Florida -- a $232 increase over the current school year and a $50 increase over the record high from 2007-08.

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Education
10:35 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Report: Miami-Dade's Poorest Schools Have District's Least Experienced Teachers

Pablo Ortiz with the Miami-Dade education transformation office says district schools are improving and they are working to make sure the least-experienced teachers aren't concentrated in the district's high-poverty schools.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Students in some of Miami-Dade's lowest-income schools are more likely to have teachers who are new to the profession, who miss more school time and who receive lower evaluation scores, according to a new analysis by the National Council for Teacher Quality.

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Newscast
6:18 am
Thu August 21, 2014

August 21, 2014: Poor Miami-Dade Kids More Likely To Have Inexperienced Teachers

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

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StateImpact Florida
2:33 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Poll Finds Support For Common Core Declining Among Republicans And Teachers

The annual Education Next poll finds support for Common Core is declining among Republicans and teachers. But the poll found people generally support the idea of common education standards.
Credit TheTurthAbout / Flickr

Public support for Common Core math and language arts standards dropped in the past year, and less than half of teachers now say they support the standards, according to an annual back-to-school poll Education Next.

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Education
5:16 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

New Food Truck, New Magnet For South Florida Students Kicking Off The New School Year

iTech Students had their choice of a roasted pork sandwich or chicken tacos from Miami-Dade schools' food truck.
John O'Connor StateImpact Florida/WLRN

South Florida districts raised the curtain on a new school year Monday.

And that meant showing off two new programs in Miami-Dade schools: a new food truck and the iTech magnet program at Thomas A. Edison Educational Center, which was formerly Little Haiti's Edison Middle.

Miami-Dade is finishing a billion-dollar renovation of schools, and the food truck will serve meals at campuses when the cafeterias are closed.

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StateImpact Florida
11:36 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

Florida's Newest University Will Try To Bring MIT Culture Here

A model of the future campus of Florida Polytechnic University.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

This coming Saturday marks the grand opening for Florida's 12th state university. Florida Polytechnic University in Polk County will offer tuition-free education focused on science, technology, engineering and math -- STEM -- to its inaugural class of about 550 students. They'll start on August 25.

President Randy Avent sat down with Robin Sussingham from WUSF in Tampa to talk about his vision for the new university.

Here's an edited version of their conversation.

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