Miami-Dade school officials attempted to derail an effort to convert a school for severely disabled children into a charter school — and then punished the principals who led the effort, a judge has ruled. The school district disputes the judge’s version of events, the Miami Herald reports.
Southwest Florida school districts say they have the Internet capacity for new online tests and digital lessons. But the computers, tablets and other devices will cost more than twice what the state budgeted this year.
The Florida Department of Education has released practice questions for the new assessments that will replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test next year.
The tests, which are aligned to the new Common Core-based Florida Standards, are available at the Florida Standards Assessments website. Some questions are similar to what students might have seen on the FCAT—asking test-takers to identify main ideas in a text or figure out a percentage in a word problem.
The national Republican fight over Common Core math and language arts standards is over, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others supporting the standards have lost.
That’s the conclusion of Vox writer Libby Nelson, based on a new Pew Research Center poll from last week.
Pew Research Center data shows “business conservatives” and “steadfast conservatives” — two designations Pew assigns in its poll — both oppose the standards equally. More than 60 percent of both groups said they oppose the standards.
This is very bad news for the standards’ supporters. Right-leaning supporters of Common Core say the standards are a state issue, created for states and by states (and that they wish Education Secretary Arne Duncan would stop talking about them). Opponents argue that the US Education Department’s efforts to get states to adopt the standards are an example of federal overreach.
Pew makes it clear: The opponents won. No matter how much supporters talk about state-led initiatives, the standards have been defined…
But now Bush’s support for the Common Core can’t be waved away as picking a side in an active intraparty controversy. Bush is backing an initiative that his party broadly opposes. Jindal didn’t turn on the Common Core to burnish his credentials with the most conservative Republicans. He did it to win over the mainstream.
A national foundation thinks school principals have more to learn.
The Wallace Foundation believes that the people who supervise principals spend too much time making sure they follow rules and procedures — and not enough time mentoring them.
So Wallace is launching a $30 million dollar, five-year national experiment to test whether students benefit from principals who get more coaching.
Broward County is one of the districts training more “principal supervisors” — and giving them fewer job duties.
Desmond Blackburn leads Broward County schools’ performance and accountability efforts. He said the county started reorganizing principal supervision a few years ago. It’s why the district applied for the Wallace Foundation grant.
“The job was budget, parent, community concerns, social services, field trips, leases, reassignments — a great deal of operational points,” he said. “And teaching and learning became what we got involved in when everything else was accomplished.”
Veterans will pay less to attend Florida colleges and universities starting Tuesday, one of a handful of laws taking effect at the start of a new budget year.
The Florida GI bill means any veteran living in the Sunshine State only has to pay in-state tuition. That tuition is typically one-third the cost of out-of-state rates.
Our colleague at WUSF and Off The Base, Bobbie O’Brien, wrote about what else is in the bill — including scholarships for Florida National Guard members — when Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill in April:
That’s what lawmakers hope as well. So the new law includes other “military friendly provisions”:
- $1.5 million in scholarships for Florida National Guard members
- $12.5 million to renovate and upgrade National Guard facilities
- $7.5 million to buy land surrounding MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, and Naval Support Activity in Panama City.
- It waives state professional licensing fees for veterans up to five years after discharge.
- It grants a waiver to active-duty military family members, spouses and dependents, so they don’t have to obtain a Florida drivers license to get a job or attend public schools in the state.
- It establishes Florida Is For Veterans, a new nonprofit corporation, to promote the hiring of veterans and to get veterans to move to the state.
- It also requires the state’s tourism arm, Visit Florida, to spend $1 million a year marketing to veterans.
- It establishes the Florida Veterans’ Walk of Honor and Florida Veterans’ Memorial Garden in Tallahassee.
Veterans can receive in-state tuition at Florida colleges and universities starting Tuesday, the News Service of Florida reports, one of a list of new laws that kicks in July 1. Another law changes the state’s school grading formula, stripping out some often confusing elements.
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is working on legislation that would allow private student loans to be discharged through bankruptcy. Federal student loans would still be exempt.
Broward County schools have won a multimillion dollar, five-year grant to help improve supervision of district principals.
The grant is part of a $30 million nationwide effort from the Wallace Foundation to focus on a little-noticed slice of school administration in 14 urban districts. The foundation hopes districts spend more time developing principals’ school leadership skills.
“In many large school districts, principal supervisors oversee too many principals – 24 on average – and focus too much on bureaucratic compliance,” Jody Spiro, the Wallace Foundation’s director of education leadership, said in a statement. “This new initiative aims to help districts move principal supervisors’ focus to one of support, freeing them to better coach and develop principals to help them improve instruction.”
A federal judge has upheld a New York City policy barring students who were not vaccinated from school if another student has a vaccine-treatable disease. The plaintiffs have appealed the decision. Florida allows exemptions from vaccine rules for religious reasons and medical need, similar to New York’s law. About 90 percent of two-year-olds treated at Florida’s county health centers are vaccinated, according to state data.