Florida

Putting Education Reform To The Test

Topics

ObamaRTTP

Stimulating Innovation With A 'Race To The Top'

Background

Florida has won a $700 million chunk of $4.35 billion set aside in the 2009 federal stimulus to spark new ideas in education.

Known as Race To The Top, the competitive grant program asked states to pitch their best ideas for improving public education for a shot at hundreds of millions in one-time money. Florida missed out in the first round of awards — they went to Tennessee and Delaware — before being named as one of ten winners in a second round of grants.

Florida will spend its share of the grant over four years in three areas:

  • A new system to evaluate teacher and principal performance beginning next year. Hillsborough County is currently developing a similar teacher evaluation with a $100 million Gates Foundation grant.
  • Create a new program in every school district to use data to improve classroom instruction and school and district performance.
  • Implement new Common Core standards developed by the National Governors Association and adopted by 43 states. The goal is to establish national standards and benchmarks for students and teachers.

The Florida Department of Education had awarded $346.3 million in Race To The Top grants through April, including $73 million to Dade County, $37.4 million to Broward County, $26.5 million to Hillsborough County, $23.7 million to Orange County, $23.0 million to Duval County and $15.9 million to Pinellas County.

Latest Posts

Florida Still Has Lengthy To-Do List For Federal Grant

The U.S. Department of Education says Florida is one of those kids in the back when it comes to meeting the requirements of its $700 million Race to the Top grant.

The U.S. Department of Education says Florida trails other states in meeting the requirements of its $700 million federal Race to the Top grant, Education Week reports. From the story: Yet even with billions of dollars and the political cover that came with winning a grant, the annual reports show that states still struggle mightily [...]

What The President Said About Education In The State Of The Union

President Barack Obama again asked Congress to expand access to early childhood education programs and defended a major federal grant program, but didn’t propose any new initiatives. Education Week has the recap here: President Barack Obama placed education at the center of a broad strategy to bolster economic mobility and combat poverty—calling on Congress in [...]

Florida Senate President Says Teachers Shouldn’t Expect An Even Playing Field

Senate President Don Gaetz says students and teachers should have school choice options.

Supporters say the charter school bill that has a good chance of passing Florida’s Republican controlled Legislature this year will better regulate charters and expand choices for parents. One thing the bill won’t do is require the same evaluations for charter school teachers as traditional public school teachers. Charter schools which do not participate in [...]

Tony Bennett Emphasizes Communication During Transition To New Standards

Education Commissioner Tony Bennett updated a Senate budget committee that oversees Florida education funding on the implementation of Common Core State Standards today. Bennett gave a presentation explaining where we are in the process and what’s next. He told the committee the Common Core will transform learning, teaching and assessments. “Florida’s children will be exposed [...]

Teachers Get Help With Common Core Lessons Through CPALMS

As states start phasing in Common Core standards in public school classrooms, no Common Core textbooks have been written yet, and new assessments are still being developed. So, teachers are creating their own lesson plans as they begin to implement the standards. They’re not doing it alone. A Race to the Top grant from the [...]

Why States Are Designing Two Tests For Common Core Standards

Forty-five states and the District of Columbia are working toward full implementation of Common Core standards. But there’s a split in the way states will measure what students have learned. Two different testing systems are on the table. One test will average a series of test results to determine a student’s score. The other is [...]

How Teachers Are Creating New Lessons For Common Core State Standards

Mrs. Kenton and her kindergarten students discuss a story about a gingerbread man. The students must be able to show they comprehend what they're reading.

Editor’s note: Reporter Martha Dalton with NPR affiliate WABE-FM in Atlanta contributed to this report. “The story was about a gingerbread man getting loose in the school.” Kindergarteners in Katherine Kenton’s class at Tallahassee’s Gilchrist Elementary School are learning to read using the new Common Core standards. The students have to show they understand what [...]

How An iPod Can Help Turn Kids Into Life Long Readers

A Miami Dade program is using the iPod Touch to help 600 students learn how to read.

About 600 Miami Dade students are learning to read using an iPod Touch and an app which allows teachers to listen to and track a student’s performance — or receive help from tutors across the country. The Innovations for Learning initiative started as a pilot last year in a handful of classes. It’s now being [...]

Five Florida Districts Selected As Race To The Top Finalists

Five Florida school districts are finalists in the latest round of Race to the Top grants.

Five Florida districts have been chosen as finalists for a total of $400 million in federal Race to the Top grants. Broward, Charlotte, Manatee, Miami-Dade, and Seminole county schools were among the 61 finalists chosen from 372 applications. The department expects to award 15 to 25 grants, which will be announced by year’s end. The [...]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education