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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

Opting Out Of State Tests Isn’t An Option, Education Commissioner Tells Lawmakers

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart says students can not skip state-required tests, and teachers and schools can be punished for refusing to administer required exams. Stewart’s letter is a response to questions from Senators as they prepare for the upcoming legislative session. Senators wanted to know if students could opt out of state-required exams and how [...]

Everybody Loves STEM

Retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro broke a long silence yesterday, and we couldn’t resist pointing out this education-related gem. He mostly touched on the push to open U.S.-Cuba relations. But in a statement to the University Students Federation, Castro put in a plug for STEM education — science, technology, engineering and math. From the Miami [...]

Essay: How To Teach Brown V. Board To A Class Of All Black Students

Editor’s note: As schools around the country celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday holiday, we’re reposting this essay from former South Florida teacher Jeremy Glazer about race in education. Here’s a question: How do you teach a class of all black students in an all black school that Brown v. Board of Education ended [...]

Fewer And Better: How Lawmakers Want To Change State Testing

When lawmakers return to Tallahassee in March for the annual legislative session, they have a lot of questions they need to answer about public school testing. Senators laid out their concerns about the state testing system last week at a series of meetings. They don’t know how many tests the state requires, or how long [...]

Florida Comes In 28th On State Education System Ranking

Florida’s earned a C grade and ranked 28th overall on this year’s Education Week Quality Counts ratings. Education Week gave the state strong scores for equity in student achievement. Test results show minority students generally perform better in Florida than other states, and the gap between white and minority student scores is smaller in Florida [...]

Florida Senators Raise Testing Questions At Budget Hearing

A state senator and leader of the Florida’s school superintendents association said he’s not sure schools will have the technology in place for new online exams this spring. Education Commissioner Pam Stewart told the Senate Education Appropriations committee that Florida’s new statewide tests, the Florida Standards Assessments, are on track for use beginning in March. [...]

The Education Year In Review — And What To Expect In 2015

2014 was a big year for education in Florida. Activists in Lee County convinced the school board to ditch state testing – before the board reversed the decision a couple of days later. Florida schools pushed ahead with new Common Core-based math and language arts standards in every grade, despite rising opposition to Common Core [...]

More Florida Teachers Rated “Highly Effective”

More than 97 percent of Florida teachers earned one of the top two evaluation scores — “highly effective” or “effective” — according to preliminary statewide data released Wednesday. The percentage of teachers earning the top rating increased for the second year in a row. More than 42 percent of teachers were rated “highly effective.” That’s [...]

Anti-Testing Groups Help Students Opt Out Of Florida Standardized Assessments

“Opt Out” groups are pushing back against what they say is too much standardized testing in Florida. The tests are changing as the state transitions to Florida Standards - an offshoot of the Common Core standards being implemented around the country. Two-dozen groups have been formed at the district level to help parents learn the procedure for opting their students [...]