Florida education policies, including Common Core-based standards, testing and school grades, could be big issues in both Democratic and Republican state legislative races next year. The field could also be expanded, with all 160 up fro grabs depending on how the redistricting process works out.
Florida school districts received the first round of test results from the Florida Standards Assessments this week.
The results show what percentage of students in each district scored within each quartile of all Florida students taking the exams. Parents can expect more detailed scores for their students next month.
The state is now setting cut scores for the the exams, which will determine what percentage of students are meeting state goals. Eventually, the state plans to issue A-to-F grades for every public school that will include Florida Standards Assessments results.
For years, lawmakers have chipped away at a constitutional amendment limiting class sizes. They’ve added exemptions and loopholes. But a Boca Raton dad has filed a lawsuit because his son’s kindergarten class has too many students.
The Palm Beach County school board is challenging a state law after the State Board of Education overruled a decision to reject a new charter school. The Palm Beach school board argues they have the exclusive right to establish and oversee charter schools in the district.
Miami teacher Brigette Kinney said she doesn’t always hear about school news when classes are out for the summer.
So Kinney missed the word that lawmakers set aside $44 million for bonuses based on SAT and ACT scores during a special summer budget session. Teachers who scored in the top 20 percent the year they took the exam and earned a “highly effective” teacher evaluation are eligible.
But Kinney said she didn’t learn about the bonuses until she returned to school in August — and that may have been too late.
The deadline to apply for the scholarships is Thursday. Kinney meets the requirements, but she’s not sure if her scores will arrive in time.
“I was told it would take two to four weeks to get my score, which I knew was going to be very tight” said Kinney, who teaches English and design in the International Baccalaureate program at Ada Merritt K-8 center.
Groups who work with immigrants say they are having a tough time enrolling in Collier County schools. The school district has been accused of denying immigrant students their right to an education guaranteed by state and federal laws.
Students might not have to take as many exams testing the same material if legislative leaders get their way. The bill wouldn’t eliminate the Florida Standards Assessments, but could let schools substitute other test scores.
You might be forgiven for mistaking Miami Beach High School’s auditorium for the Fillmore Thursday.
Students waved lit cellphones above their heads.
They sang along with “whoa-oh-oh” choruses.
But when the concert ended, they got a lesson in what some have dubbed nature’s most powerful force.
“It’s called compounding interest,” says Gooding, the guitarist who uses only the one name professionally and is lead singer of a band by the same name (though in all caps). “Raise your hand if you know what compounding interest is? I won’t make you say it. Awesome.”
If you watch shows like CSI or have seen a car commercial, you’ve probably heard GOODING’s music.
Florida State University physics professor Paul Cottle thinks the initial goals set for students on Florida’s new test are too low because the teachers setting the goals are judged on student test performance. He says the state should start the whole process over using outside experts with no conflicts of interest.
Last week the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development released the results of a global study looking at the effect of technology on 15-year-olds test scores.
The group oversees one of the most important international exams, so their research matters.
And the research matters even more to Florida because state law requires schools spend half of their instructional budget on digital lessons. School districts have spent the past few years adding Internet bandwidth, improving networks and adding high-tech teaching tools.
Here’s five things we learned from their study:
The more technology, the worse the performance on tests — This was the big conclusion. The students who spent the most time using computers or on the Internet in school did worse than expected on international tests.
The students who ranked in the middle for technology use — what the OECD called moderate use — did the best on international tests.
“That’s pretty sobering for us,” said Andreas Schleicher, who leads the OECD’s education efforts. “We all hope that integrating more and more technology in school is going to help us actually to enhance learning environments. Make learning more interactive…but it doesn’t seem to be working like this.”