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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Florida Schools Report Testing Problems, Suspend Exams For Some Students

School districts around the state report students had trouble logging in or experienced slow loading time with the Florida's new online writing exam.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated. School districts across the state said students had trouble logging in to the state’s new writing exam Monday. And the test is running slowly for many who do manage to sign in. Miami-Dade schools said they’re suspending all online testing for 8th through 10th graders until the state [...]

Education Commissioner Recommends Eliminating Some State Tests

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart has recommended eliminating a high school exam, making another optional and asking state lawmakers and local school districts to cut back on the amount of testing. Stewart’s recommendations are the conclusion of a statewide review of standardized testing requested by Gov. Rick Scott. “There is, without a doubt, an excess of [...]

School Board Members Launch New Pro-School Choice Group

Escambia County school board member Jeff Bergosh is leading the new school boards group.

School board members dissatisfied with the statewide association who represents them are forming their own group, the Fort Myers News-Press and others report. One reason is the school board members are unhappy the Florida School Boards Association joined a lawsuit challenging the state’s private school tax credit scholarship. From the News-Press story: The Florida Coalition [...]

Bill Could Give Out-Of-State Charter Schools A Florida Foothold

A Rocketship Education ad, posted on Twitter, for a Washington, D.C. school choice event.

Florida charter schools which consistently earn good grades on the state’s public school report card get special privileges. Soon, out-of-state charter schools could too. It could help national charter school chains have an easier time finding a foothold in Florida. The state’s “high performing” label allows schools to expand across Florida more quickly, sign longer-term [...]

Miami-Dade Superintendent: Get Your Shots (Even Flu)

Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho at a February press conference. He's suspending testing in Miami-Dade schools.

Miami-Dade school leaders say are concerned about a measles outbreak spreading across the country and urge parents to vaccinate their children. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho says vaccinations work and the district is tracking whether students get their required shots. Carvalho says 98 percent of Miami-Dade students have been vaccinated or are getting the shots now. “We’ve [...]

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 [...]

Florida And The Congressional Debate Over Rewriting No Child Left Behind

The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation has taken a stab at handicapping which parts of NCLB could stay and which could go under a Republican Congress.

No Child Left Behind needs an update. Born in 2002, the law expired in 2007 and has sat as Republicans and Democrats struggled to find agreement. But Republicans now in control of both Congressional chambers seem ready to take on the task — and likely reduce federal education requirements on states. The biggest question is [...]

Fewer And Better: How Lawmakers Want To Change State Testing

Republican state Sen. David Simmons.

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 Senators Raise Testing Questions At Budget Hearing

Sen. Bill Montford is also CEO of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.

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

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

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 [...]

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