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Poll: Support For Common Core Falls As Awareness Rises

The annual PDK/Gallup poll shows Americans are less likely to support Common Core standards.

The more Americans learn about Common Core, the less likely they are to support the math and language arts standards for K-12 public schools. That’s one conclusion to draw from the annual poll from Phi Delta Kappa, a professional group for educators, and polling firm Gallup. Last year, two-thirds of Americans said they had not [...]

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. [...]

How A Federal Program Will Help Florida Schools Go Wireless

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has proposed expanding the E-Rate program, which helps schools and libraries purchase high-speed Internet service.

Curtis Lanoue teaches music in a trailer behind Oliver Hoover Elementary School in Miami. His colleagues have interactive smart boards in their classrooms. Those are like 21st-Century chalk boards that can can plug into the school’s network — and the Internet. Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana Schools are switching to mobile carts like this, loaded [...]

Report: It Will Cost $3.2 Billion To Upgrade Schools To Wireless Internet

President Barack Obama’s proposal to equip nearly every school with high-speed wireless Internet will cost $800 million per year — $3.2 billion total by the 2018 deadline — according to a new estimate given to the Federal Communications Commission. The initiative is important to Florida schools for two reasons. First, schools are switching to new [...]

Third Grade Passing Rates On FCAT Math And Reading Flat

The percentage of Florida third graders passing state reading and math exams was unchanged this year.

The percentage of Florida third graders passing the state’s FCAT math and reading exams did not improve this year — remaining largely flat for the past three years — according to initial test results released Friday. Fifty-seven percent of third graders scored at least a 3, the state’s passing score, on the reading test. On [...]

Testing Requirements Around The Globe

Other countries require more testing than U.S. schools -- and the stakes are often higher.

Florida students may not advance to fourth grade or earn a high school diploma if they fail a state test, but NPR’s Cory Turner reports the stakes are even higher in other countries. Starting at age 16, students in England take between 15 and 20 big exams each year. If they do well, they’ll get [...]

Opting Out Of FCAT Can Have Consequences

A letter sent home warning parents their student may not be able to attend a field trip if they miss the FCAT.

Monday we told you about activists who are educating parents about what their options are when it comes to FCAT exams. While state law doesn’t allow parents to withhold their children from the exam, the law does outline alternatives to required tests. But opting out might still come with some consequences. A parent forwarded us [...]

Schools Suspend FCAT Because Of Computer Problems

Some Florida school districts have suspended FCAT testing after having problems connecting to the online exam.

UPDATE: Education Commissioner Pam Stewart has sent a letter to Pearson saying she expects “a resolution and explanation for this immediately.” “This failure is inexcusable,” Stewart wrote. “Florida’s students and teachers work too hard on learning to be distracted by these needless and avoidable technological issues.” Read Stewart’s letter below. Original post: Schools are suspending [...]

Why Florida Parents Want To Opt Their Kids Out Of State Tests

Last week Gov. Rick Scott delivered an $8.5 million check to Hillsborough County schools earning good marks on the state’s grading formula. Those grades depend a lot on student FCAT scores. So Hillsborough Superintendent MaryEllen Elia took a moment pump up students at West Tampa’s Graham Elementary School before this week’s testing. “Next week you’re [...]

Bandwidth, Computers, Classroom Space All A Challenge In Online Testing

Florida school districts have to upgrade networking and devices for new online testing.

Having enough high-speed Internet and computers are problems as Florida school districts transition to online testing tied to new math and language arts standards. But testing rules have made classroom space and logistics a challenge as well. Pensacola News Journal reporter Michael Scott Davidson outlines some of the issues in Santa Rosa County schools: Wyrosdick [...]

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