Education

Gage Skidmore

Nearly four months after suspending his failed presidential campaign, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is making his way back into politics on familiar ground. At the end of May, Bush re-took the helm of his advocacy organization, Foundation for Excellence in Education. On Monday, he published an op-ed in the conservative magazine National Review, “Saving America’s Education System,” sketching out a vision for the nation’s schools circa 2036. It shows his work as a school reformer is back. “We...

Rowan Moore Gerety

As a high school freshman, Aaron Willis was paralyzed from the waist down in a drive-by shooting while riding his bike in Wynwood. Wednesday, Willis graduated from Booker T Washington High School on the honor roll. Willis wore a look of sheer determination as he walked across the stage to claim his diploma, walking with the aid of crutches and robotic leg supports. The friends and classmates who filled the auditorium lost it, their screams gradually coalescing into chants of “Aaron, Aaron.”...

When students get suspended from school for a few days, they may not be the only ones who miss out. A report released today by UCLA's Civil Rights Project tries for the first time to quantify the full social cost of so-called "exclusionary discipline." The authors calculate that suspensions in just one year of school — 10th grade — contributed to 67,000 students eventually dropping out of high school. And that, they conclude, generates total costs to the nation of more than $35 billion....

For many students in Florida, summer vacation meansfinally getting out of the classroom and away from tests and homework. But for some, the Summer also means figuring out where the next meal will come from. Now there are efforts underway to address hunger in North Florida—especially at times when a major food program—the school—is no longer in session.

Collier County Public Schools

A lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges Collier County Public Schools are refusing to enroll immigrant students, a violation of federal and state law. Instead, the complaint says, 16- and 17-year-olds from Haiti and Guatemala have been steered to English-only adult-education classes. Tania Galloni is an attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, the group representing students in the suit. Galloni says public school registration is supposed to be straightforward: “You walk into school, you...

How do you teach kids about ecology when the natural world is shrinking around them? In fast growing Florida, one solution is to take environmental studies outside the walls of a classroom.

Middle School Students Take The Law Into Their Own Hands

May 17, 2016
Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

Brownsville Middle School students visiting the Police Academy recently got a stark warning from recruit Albert Hightower: “I have friends who’s dead; I have friends who’s in jail…Do not, do not let the environment you’re in right now dictate what you become,” Hightower said, drawing on his own experiences growing up near Brownsville, in Liberty City. ​ These 40 sixth-, seventh- and eighth- graders had come downtown on a field trip that organizers hoped would help point the way to a career as...

Mort Elementary School is one of Tampa’s lowest-performing elementary schools situated in one the most troubled neighborhoods in Hillsborough County. In 25 years though, officials are hoping itwill be a model of success.

To Get Kids To Breakfast, Schools Try Take-Out

May 6, 2016
Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

Walk into any classroom at Deerfield Beach Middle School and you won’t have trouble spotting the students who missed breakfast. “They’re the ones who are antsy during first and second period,” said Principal Francine Baugh, “waiting for lunch to begin.” That’s one rationale behind the federal program that subsidizes discounted meals for low-income students in public schools. Research as far back as the 1970s demonstrates a strong link between a morning meal and improvements in memory and...

There are many qualities of a great teacher. Two big ones? Kindness and a willingess to make learning fun. At least that's what Marlem Diaz-Brown's fourth-graders say. For our 50 Great Teachers project, we've searched all over for teachers like her. Which brought us to Sunset Elementary School in Miami ... and "Mrs. D-B." But this time around, we decided to shake things up: We asked her students to do the reporting. The fourth-graders (all 26 of them!) wrote a news story about their teacher....

Go Fund Me / Caitlin Walsh

What began as one principal’s decision to change a fundraising event from tackle to a flag football game has flared into a controversy over sexism and tradition entangling scores of frustrated students and parents, the Palm Beach County School Board and the Jupiter Town Council. Every year since 1966, 11 th and 12 th grade girls at Jupiter Community High School have faced off in a tackle football game to raise money for the boys’ team, known as a “Powderpuff” game. But this year, school...

A School Field Trip, For Parents!

Apr 28, 2016
Sue Stocker/Sun Sentinel

Faced with the issue of low parent involvement, Plantation Elementary decided to turn the field trip on its head. On Monday it was the parents who climbed on board a school bus while the students spent their day in class. I spoke to the principal of the school, Judith Pitter, about where she got the idea for a parents-only field trip. Where did you get the idea for a parents-only field trip? Well actually the idea came from my boss, Miss Haywood. When she was a principal years ago at...

Nicole Poulin

What should a school do when parents don’t want their kids to take a standardized test? Public school students across Florida are in the midst of testing season, and state law says the tests are mandatory; there’s no formal mechanism to “opt out.” But plenty of Florida parents are instructing their children to do just that. “The FSA stands for the Florida State Assessment,” declares Hollywood third grader Gabriel Hughes-Harris, preparing to explain his experience on test day. It’s actually...

Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

Next year’s state budget boasts what Governor Scott has called record funding for K-12 education. After deep cuts spurred by the Recession, per-pupil spending, known as FEFP, or Florida Education Finance Program has indeed hit a new high—but not when you account for inflation. In real terms, the state’s contribution is down nearly 8% , and Florida school districts have to make do with the difference. Every morning at Palm Lakes Elementary School in Hialeah, Principal Alina Iglesias bounces...

For Working Parents, Spring Break Is No Vacation

Mar 28, 2016
Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN News

Both Wanda Gomez’s sons thought the warm weather made it clear where they needed to spend a balmy afternoon last week.“They said, today’s a pool day, but like, we cannot go to pool, because...I have to work,” Gomez says. Such is spring break for a working single mother. Gomez does voter registration work for The New Florida Majority and she brings her sons with her on the job. Today, Jose and Omar are killing time on the swing set at Roberto Clemente Park in Wynwood, the 5-year-old i Omar...

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