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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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 [...]

ACLU Challenges Single-Gender Programs In Three More Counties

Students at the all-girls Ferrell Preparatory Academy in Tampa.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed federal complaints challenging single-gender education programs in Broward, Hernando and Volusia county schools. The group argues single-gender programs violate anti-discrimination laws and are based on flawed science. The ACLU has previously filed a complaint against single-gender programs in Hillsborough County schools. “Parents should know that their school districts [...]

Miami-Dade Schools Chief Wants To Delay New Testing, School Grades

Miami-Dade superintendent Alberto Carvalho, right, Gov. Rick Scott and Southside Elementary principal Salvatore Schiavone tour the school.

Miami-Dade superintendent Alberto Carvalho said Florida leaders should rethink the scope and purpose of education testing and give schools more time to prepare for new math and language arts standards. Carvalho’s proposal was published online and emailed to reporters. Carvalho has also been tweeting excerpts since Monday. Carvalho draws a hard line at eliminating testing, [...]

Lee County School Board Reverses Testing Boycott

Testing opponents quietly show support for speakers at Tuesday's Lee County school board meeting. The board voted 3-2 to reverse its state testing boycott.

The Lee County school board has reversed its decision to reject state tests, after board member Mary Fischer changed her mind. Last week the board became the first in Florida to refuse to offer state tests to its students on a 3-2 vote. The test are required by state law, and the results help determine [...]

Florida’s Teacher Union Says Scholarship Program Is Unconstitutional

When Florida first approved its private school tax credit scholarship program in 2001, Florida Education Association attorney Ron Meyer said education groups questioned the legality, but no one really objected to helping low-income students get out of low-performing schools. But then the scholarship program started to grow. Lawmakers approved a law that automatically expanded the [...]

Read: School Boards Group Outlines Consequences Of Skipping State Tests

The Florida School Boards Association has outlined the consequences of districts skipping state tests, and most of them have to do with money.

Last night, the Lee County school board became the first district to refuse state testing entirely. Other Florida school districts are also considering saying no to state exams. The Florida School Boards Association is meeting next week and has posted an outline of the consequences for not complying state law. The first step is an [...]

Lee County School Board Becomes First To Say No To State Tests

Lee County's school board is opting out of state testing. How many districts will follow?

Lee County’s school board became the first in the state Wednesday night to decide district students would no longer take statewide exams, according to the Fort Myers News-Press. What happens next in uncertain. State law requires school districts to participate in the statewide testing program. Those scores are used to determine grades for public schools, [...]

Florida Ready To Challenge Federal Testing Rules For Students Learning English

Gov. Rick Scott says he's giving the U.S. Department of Education 30 days to change their mind about testing requirements for students learning English or the state could head to court.

Gov. Rick Scott is ready to take the federal government to court over testing rules for students learning English. The U.S. Department of Education says Florida must count those students’ results after one year in school. Scott and Florida educators want to give students two years to learn English. Scott said Education Commissioner Pam Stewart [...]

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