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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

Former Miami Dade College Dean Picked To Lead Florida Colleges

A former dean at Miami Dade College has been selected to lead the Florida College System. Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart chose Madeline Pumariega to be chancellor of the state’s system of community colleges. Pumariega worked for more than a decade at Miami Dade College, including serving as Dean of Students at the Wolfson Campus. [...]

As Florida Reduces Testing, Teacher Evaluation Questions Remain

Florida lawmakers’ decision to end mandatory final exams for every class will mean that more teachers’ performance will be judged on subjects they don’t teach. Concerned about the amount of testing in schools — and pressured by activists and educators — this year lawmakers rescinded a state law that requires school districts to have a [...]

Despite Problems With Florida’s New Test, Lawmaker Opposes Cancelling Contract

The chairman of the Senate Education committee says lawmakers aren’t interested in cancelling the six-year, $220 million contract with Florida new statewide test provider despite multiple problems with the new exams already. Twice this year contractor American Institutes for Research made changes to their system which prevented students and administrators from accessing the exam. Some [...]

School Districts Report Second Day Of Testing Problems

Editor’s note: This story has been updated. For the second day in a row, some Florida school districts decided to suspend required testing because of computer problems. The Florida Department of Education told school leaders this morning that test provider American Institutes for Research had found and corrected the problems that shut down testing Monday. [...]

What Went Wrong With Florida Testing Yesterday?

Yesterday school districts across the state had to suspend the state writing test. It was the first day Florida schools attempted to use the Florida Standards Assessments. This morning, Education Commissioner Pam Stewart sent an email to school superintendents explaining what happened. The problem, she says, was with test firm American Institutes for Research. Here’s [...]