Florida

Putting Education Reform To The Test

Background

Merit pay; eliminating tenure; new teacher evaluations — how are school, district and state policies affecting how educators and their students perform?

Latest Posts

Florida Teachers Consider ‘Civil Disobedience’ To Say No To Testing

Miramar High School teacher David Ross says testing has taken more and more time away from teaching. He refused to administer an FCAT make-up exam in protest.

In September, Alachua County kindergarten teacher Susan Bowles refused to give a state reading test. She told the parents of her students it was an act of civil disobedience. The Florida Department of Education later suspended the exam for this year. Florida requires that most students are tested every year. Those results help determine which [...]

“Ballin’ On A Budget:” How A Miami Teacher Keeps His Library Stocked

The shelf for advanced readers includes "Lolita," "Farewell to Arms" and "The Kite Runner."

Miami Northwestern High School teacher Daniel Dickey says there’s no silver bullet or secret book which will spark a student’s interest in reading. Instead, he says he asks questions and listens. “I sit down with that student and really figure out what is it that drives you?” Dickey says. “Why do you come to school? [...]

To Make High Schoolers Want To Read, Miami Teacher Makes It A Competition

Some of the books in Daniel Dickey's library. No student has tackled "Infinite Jest" yet, considered one of the longest and most complicated American novels.

John O’Connor / StateImpact Florida Miami Northwestern Senior High writing teacher Daniel Dickey says you have to be a good reader to be a good writer. He’s challenged his student to read one million words this year. Miami Northwestern High School English teacher Daniel Dickey has found a way to make his tenth graders brag [...]

How A Miami Middle School Added Speech And Debate Classes On A Budget

Veldreana Oliver has taught physical education for 28 years at Allapattah Middle School. More recently, her principal asked her to teach writing, speech and debate.

Last week StateImpact Florida told you how a middle school in Miami has added speech and debate courses this year to improve reading, writing and speaking. The school’s principal, Bridget McKinney majored in debate and thought the requirements for Florida’s new Common Core-based standards sounded a lot like her college classes. She needed a writing [...]

Essay: What A Teacher Score Doesn’t Tell Us

Teachers get a number score with the state's value-added model.

I finally know my worth as a teacher—and now that the “value-added model” scores mandated by our state legislature are public, everyone else knows, too. I’m a 37.5. But, I have no idea what that number means. Along with my 37.5, I was told I’m “highly effective” and given a $230 bonus. In case you’re [...]

How The Algebra Project Helps Math Make Sense

“This idea is to learn a language you have to talk it…you have to engage in it.” That’s how Algebra Project founder Bob Moses described the principle underlying the program. Math is a language. And like any language, teachers need to help students translate the language into terms they understand. But like the students learning [...]

A Q & A With Activist And Algebra Project Founder Bob Moses

Algebra Project founder Bob Moses.

Fifty years ago Bob Moses organized volunteers to register voters in Mississippi during the Freedom Summer. And for decades, Moses has been fighting for civil rights as an educator. He’s won a MacArthur Genius Grant to develop a new way to teach algebra in largely low-income and minority schools. The Algebra Project shows students how [...]

What We Learned This Year Watching Schools Prepare For Florida’s New Standards

Darlene Paul, principal of West Defuniak Elementary, speaks to a student during a visit to a third-grade classroom. Paul says she has been impressed with the academic success of young students who have been taught only using the new Florida Standards.

For the past year The Hechinger Report and StateImpact Florida have taken you into two schools to hear what preparations for Florida’s new Common Core-based standards sound like. The standards outline what students should know in math and language arts. When classes start this fall every grade in every Florida public school will use them. [...]

Florida Teachers More Likely To Leave The Profession

Sarasota County middle school math teacher Brenda Fuoco, in 2013.

Florida teachers are leaving the classroom at a faster rate than the national average, according to a new study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Richard Ingersoll for the Alliance for Excellent Education. About 8 percent of Florida teachers left the classroom from 2008 to 2009. Nationally, 6.8 percent of teachers left the classroom during the [...]

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

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 segregation decades ago? That isn’t a hypothetical question, but one I remember clearly asking myself. I was teaching American History for the first time in one of our nation’s many [...]

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