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South Florida State House Candidates Agree There’s Too Much Testing

Republican, Democrat and independent candidates were unanimous Tuesday -- Florida schools test too much.

The candidates running for three South Dade state House seats — Republican, Democrat, independent — all agree that Florida students and schools spend too much time testing. Candidates running for the Florida House of Representatives in the 112th, 114th and 115th districts gathered for an education forum Tuesday night at Palmetto Middle School. “The biggest [...]

Lawmaker Says Financial Aid Could Depend On Classes, Not Just Test Scores

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 [...]

New Bright Futures Rules Changing College Plans For Florida Students

Bright Futures once paid $429 million in scholarships a year. Lawmakers have raised required SAT and ACT scores, and estimates are the programs will pay just $180 million by 2018.

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 [...]

Why Florida Wants To Expand Single-Gender Classes

These boys are part of the All Male E.A.G.L.E. Academy at Bond Elementary School in Tallahassee. The acronym stands for  Extraordinary Ambitious Gentlemen Leading in Excellence.

A handful of public schools in Florida have either all-girls or all-boys classrooms. More could be coming. Rep. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah, is behind a bill that would have one school in each school district offer only single sex classes. The proposed legislation would create a pilot project in designated districts for two years. “With the idea [...]

Extra Reading Instruction Improved Most School Scores, Review Finds

A new review finds most schools benefit from a required extra hour of reading instruction.

The 100 Florida schools earning the lowest scores on the FCAT reading test are required to add an extra hour of instruction time. A new review from the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability has found the extra hour has helped students at most of those schools improve their reading scores. Lawmakers required [...]

The Pros And Cons Of Appointing Florida’s Schools Chief

For our story this week about all the pressure facing Florida’s education commissioners we spoke with two former education commissioners — one elected and one appointed. Florida elected education commissioners until 2003, when a state constitutional amendment made the job appointed. Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Jim Horne as commissioner in 2003. Now, the governor appoints [...]

Report: Florida Universities Improve Grad Rates While Keeping Costs Down

A new report finds Florida’s public university system is a good model in affordability for the rest of the country. Florida Rising: An Assessment of Public Universities in the Sunshine State analyzed cost, administrative and academic spending, curriculum, and graduation rates at Florida’s 11 universities. (Florida Polytechnic University – the 12th in the system – [...]

Report: Florida Among The Cheapest States In Spending Per Student

Florida spent $8,887 on each public school student in 2011, making it one of the lowest states in the nation for per-pupil spending. The totals from the U.S. Census Bureau – including federal revenue – were compiled before Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature cut about $1.3 billion from education funding. Since then, the state has [...]

Florida’s Education Budget By The Numbers

Gov. Rick Scott has signed a budget that’s very different than the one he’s been paying for since he authorized massive education cuts two years ago. Back then, pundits speculated Scott may have sealed his fate as a one term governor when he proposed a few billion dollars worth of cuts to education. Scott, for [...]

Governor Scott Explains Education Budget Vetoes

Gov. Rick Scott spoke to reporters this afternoon about his decision to cut $368 million out of the $74.5 billion budget sent to him by the Florida Legislature. One of the items he cut would have boosted tuition at state colleges and universities by 3 percent. “In my case and my wife’s case, we didn’t [...]

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