Florida has suspended the FAIR reading test for kindergartners through second grade. An Alachua County teacher refused to give the test to her students last week because of difficulties administering the online exam.
A key Senate lawmaker may put less emphasis on test scores to determine which students qualify for state financial aid for college — possibly including Bright Futures.
Instead, scholarships and grants would depend more on taking tougher classes in high school.
Senator John Legg, R-Trinity, said he and other lawmakers have heard complaints and concerns since raising the minimum SAT and ACT scores required to qualify for Bright Futures.
In the future, students could have to earn the new scholar version of Florida’s high school diploma to qualify for state aid. Florida also has a standard diploma and another focused on job certifications.
Florida lawmakers raised required SAT and ACT score for Bright Futures, slashing the number of students receiving the scholarships. One in three high school graduates qualified for Bright Futures at its peak. Now, just one in eight graduates qualifies.
“There has been concern,” Legg said. “Obviously, when a student misses the Bright Futures eligibility, people are not happy with that.
“I think you’ll see the Legislature discussing how can we take those designations and attach some financial incentives.”
States are increasing the share needs-based college financial aid, according to new data published Monday. However, the total amount of state-based financial aid — $11.28 billion — did not increase in 2012-2013.
Most new Palm Beach College Students were going through orientation earlier this month, but Jake Seiler was wrapping up his first three courses.
Despite earning the highest SAT scores of his two siblings — 1100, on six attempts — Seiler didn’t score high enough this year to earn the Bright Futures Florida Medallion scholarship his older sister got last year.
That’s because Bright Futures, Florida’s lottery-funded college scholarship, has finished going through what supporters say is a fundamental change. The program has raised required test scores and become much more exclusive. Bright Futures is now exclusively a merit-based program and not focused on expanding access to higher education.
And that means students like Seiler, who once would have qualified for the scholarship with ease, no longer make the cut. And he isn’t alone.
At its peak in 2008, one in three Florida high school graduates qualified for a Bright Futures scholarship. In Seiler’s graduating class, according to estimates by the Florida College Access Network, just one in eight students will qualify.
538 has ranked the highest-paying college majors using U.S. Census data. Engineering dominates the top of the list, while library science, psychology and the arts had the lowest median pay.
A legislative panel has approved a long-term budget forecast that includes a $336 million surplus for the budget year beginning July 1. That surplus would be in addition to setting aside money for savings and expected increases for education and other high-priority programs.
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 if the district wants to allocate contracts based on race or gender — which re-ignited the long-simmering dispute. The district review found black-owned businesses received a disproportionately larger share of district subcontracts.
Urban League and NAACP leaders questioned that conclusion and said the district couldn’t verify their numbers. So they launched their own review and released the results at a meeting Wednesday evening.
“We don’t believe what nobody tell us,” said T. Willard Fair, president of the Urban League of Greater Miami. “Because past experiences tell us that if we don’t stay on top of it, they have a…way of not remembering what they told us yesterday.”
An Alachua County teacher is refusing to give a state-required test to her kindergarten students. The test, known as FAIR, is taken online this year and many of her students haven’t touched a keyboard. She’s also concerned kids unfamiliar with computers will lead to inaccurate results.
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 fourth day on the job. She started at 6 a.m. with a tour of the Keys by plane. She followed with visits to Allapattah Middle School and Hialeah High School in Miami-Dade County.
And she wrapped up a 12-hour day with a high-energy pitch for union members to get out and support Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist in his race against Republican Gov. Rick Scott.
“I like to say I was the lunch lady – that was my first job in a public school,” Eskelsen Garcia told about 50 members of the United Teachers of Dade. “That is padding my resume. I was the salad girl.
The job market for recent college grads is improving — at least in terms of pay. Starting salaries increased 7.5% from 2013 graduates, according to new data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.