Florida

Putting Education Reform To The Test

Background

Education is big business. These are stories about the politicians, businesses, lobbyists and other leaders seeking to impact education decisions.

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Broward Schools Want Changes To Evaluations And High School Schedules

Broward schools superintendent Robert Runcie, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, left, and Broward Teachers Union president Sharon Glickman, right, announced the creation of two task forces to recommend changes to teacher evaluations and high school schedules.

Broward County school and union leaders want to make changes to test-based teacher evaluations and the county’s high school schedule. Superintendent Robert Runcie announced two task forces will study the issues and recommend changes. One goal is to come up with a teacher evaluation system that is less about punishing teachers who earn low scores [...]

What A Second Term Of Rick Scott Or Charlie Crist Will Mean For Florida Education

Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist have talked about K-12 funding, the cost of college and other education issues.

Polls show Governor Rick Scott and former Governor Charlie Crist are polarizing. Voters are as likely to dislike the candidates as they are to approve of them. So both candidates are talking about schools, colleges and scholarships — to motivate their supporters. “Education is an issue that is helping to appeal to the base,” says [...]

Court, Public Relations Battle Over Florida Private School Programs Heating Up

The Florida Education Association has amended its challenge of a new school choice law in the Leon County's Second Judicial Circuit.

The legal and public relations battle over Florida’s private school scholarship programs continues, with the statewide teacher’s union revising its lawsuit and a school choice group producing a new television ad supporting the programs. Wednesday, the Florida Education Association amended its complaint challenging a new school choice law. The new complaint adds South Florida parents [...]

South Florida State House Candidates Agree There’s Too Much Testing

Republican, Democrat and independent candidates were unanimous Tuesday -- Florida schools test too much.

The candidates running for three South Dade state House seats — Republican, Democrat, independent — all agree that Florida students and schools spend too much time testing. Candidates running for the Florida House of Representatives in the 112th, 114th and 115th districts gathered for an education forum Tuesday night at Palmetto Middle School. “The biggest [...]

Why Florida Is Fighting The U.S. Education Department Over English Learners

Althea Valle teaches a class of ELL's. She says of the new federal requirement, "I think it’s going to put a lot of pressure on the schools to get these kids where we think they should be."

A 10th grader born in Haiti struggles to read in his class at Godby High School in Tallahassee. The student is more comfortable with Haitian Creole than English. Teacher Althea Valle has students of various nationalities trying to master the language. “It’s a challenge,” Valle says. “There’s a lot of gesturing, and you know sometimes I [...]

Why The ACLU Is Challenging Single-Gender Classes In Florida Schools

The ACLU is worried single-gender classes might reinforce stereotypes of the 1950s.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed federal complaints against school districts in Broward, Hernando, Hillsborough and Volusia counties over the use of all-girls or all-boys classes. The ACLU wants the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to investigate the programs. StateImpact Florida’s Gina Jordan spoke with Galen Sherwin, a senior staff attorney [...]

Florida PTA Wants State To Consider Delaying School Grades

The Florida PTA is asking the state to delay school grades during the transition to new standards and tests.

The Florida PTA is asking state leaders to consider delaying school grading to give students and schools time to adjust to new math and language arts standards and online tests. This is the first year every grade is using Florida’s Common Core-based standards and students will take the new Florida Standards Assessment early in 2015. [...]

Americans Want Higher Standards, More Training For Teachers

University of Central Florida elementary education students discuss how to incorporate books, maps, magazines and other materials into lesson plans.

A strong majority of Americans surveyed want teachers to have at least one year’s practice time in the classroom and pass a board certification before teaching, according to a new national poll. The Phi Delta Kappa professional teacher’s organization and Gallup released a second batch of their annual survey data Tuesday. The poll surveyed 1,001 [...]

Miami-Dade Community Groups Say School District Contracts Aren’t Fair

Ron Frazier, CEO of BAC Funding Corporation, a non-profit that lends to minority-owned businesses, and a retired architect, helped lead the Urban League and NAACP review of school district contracts.

The Urban League of Miami and the local NAACP want the Miami-Dade school district to stop work on a $1.2 billion bond project to renovate schools and upgrade their technology. The groups believe black-owned businesses aren’t getting a fair chance at school construction projects. It was a district review of contracts — a legal requirement [...]

New Teacher’s Union Leader Promises More Florida Activism

Lily Eskelsen Garcia asks students what they want from the president on a visit to Allapattah Middle School last week.

At a Spanish restaurant in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, one of the most powerful women in education, Lily Eskelsen Garcia, pumps up union members by telling them where her career started – the cafeteria. Lily Eskelsen Garcia is the first Latina elected to lead the nation’s largest union – the National Education Association. Thursday was her [...]

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