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Karla Mats, teacher

How Florida Teachers Are Evaluated, Paid

Fifty percent of a teacher’s evaluation is based on a formula called the Value Added Model. It predicts how students should score on the state’s standardized exam – the FCAT, and rates teachers based on how well their students measured up to the predicted FCAT score. The other 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation comes [...]

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SB 736 – The Student Success Act Outlines How Florida Teachers Get Paid

The first bill Gov. Rick Scott signed into law, SB 736 rewrote how teachers are paid and retained across the state. The Florida Education Association has filed a lawsuit challenging the law, arguing the law unconstitutionally strips teachers or their ability to negotiate pay. The bill makes a number of sweeping, statewide changes including: Rating [...]

Shayne Ijames, 13, committed suicide in Port St. Lucie on May 2, 2012. The family suspects he was bullied after a text message came in on his phone that said, "happy funeral."

What “Bullying” Means in Florida Schools

In Florida, “bullying” means: systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students. It may involve: Teasing Social exclusion Threat Intimidation Stalking Physical violence Theft Sexual, religious, or racial harassment Public humiliation Destruction of property In 2008, the Florida Department of Education required each school district to create a policy [...]

Stories

Florida Schools Rearrange Schedules To Add Extra Hour Of Reading

Florida schools are making plans for how to add a state-required extra hour of reading instruction, according to two stories out today. In 2012, lawmakers required that the 100 schools with the lowest scores on the FCAT reading test add an extra hour of reading instruction to try and boost those scores. When the Office [...]

Gov. Scott Rolls Out Plan To Prepare Workers For High-Tech Jobs

Gov. Rick Scott spent Monday touring high-tech South Florida companies looking to hire. He wants to make sure firms like Boca Raton’s Modernizing Medicine, which designs electronic medical record systems, have workers ready. “If you think about – I’ve got kids and even have, hard to believe, I have grandkids – the jobs of the [...]

Students React To The Closure Of A Giant For-Profit College

After a long reign as the fastest-growing and most problematic sector in higher education, for-profit colleges are on the ropes. This week the U.S. Department of Education announced that it will review how federal student aid is administered at one of the country’s largest for-profit colleges, the University of Phoenix. Owned by the publicly traded [...]

Check Out The Practice Questions For The New FCAT Replacement

The Florida Department of Education has released practice questions for the new assessments that will replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test next year. The tests, which are aligned to the new Common Core-based Florida Standards, are available at the Florida Standards Assessments website.  Some questions are similar to what students might have seen on the [...]

Florida Students Go Online To Join Algebra Nation

Algebra Nation Video Clips from Study Edge on Vimeo. The first year Florida ninth graders took the state’s Algebra 1 end-of-course exam, less than half those students passed the test. Students must pass the exam to earn a high school diploma, so the results worried school officials. In the two years since, districts are trying [...]

New Online Exams Will Also Test School Districts’ Technology

Ocoee High School just west of Orlando opened less than a decade ago. But technology-wise, the 2,300-student school is already obsolete. Ocoee is part of $14 million project to outfit seven Orange County schools with fast, wireless Internet and new classroom technology. The first step was ripping out and replacing miles of fiber optic cable [...]

Hackers Stole Employee Data From Florida’s New Testing Company

Hackers stole employee data earlier this month from the American Institutes for Research, the company chosen to produce Florida’s next standardized test. No student information was stolen, according to Education Week. But, the hackers got Social Security numbers and credit card information for about 6,500 current and former employees. From the story: “The breach only [...]