Florida

Putting Education Reform To The Test

Background

Education is big business. These are stories about the politicians, businesses, lobbyists and other leaders seeking to impact education decisions.

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Iowa Republicans: “What Is Common Core?”

Former Gov. Jeb Bush visited a Hialeah charter school for National School Choice Week.

Common Core — it’s going to be the biggest education issue for 2016 Republican presidential candidates, right? Maybe not. Bloomberg Politics has posted video of a focus group session with Iowa Republicans. Moderator John Heileman asks the panel (about 44 seconds in) if any of them think Common Core is important. The response? Silence. Finally, [...]

Evaluation: Education Commissioner Is (Mostly) Meeting Her Goals

The State Board of Education is scheduled to  review commissioner Pam Stewart's performance next week.

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart says she is largely meeting goals leading Florida schools. The State Department of Education posted Stewart’s self-evaluation of her performance Thursday. The State Board of Education is scheduled to discuss Stewart’s evaluation at a meeting next week. Stewart says she has met the top three goals set out for her by [...]

Former Miami Dade College Dean Picked To Lead Florida Colleges

Former Miami Dade College dean Madeline Pumariega will lead the Florida College System.

A former dean at Miami Dade College has been selected to lead the Florida College System. Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart chose Madeline Pumariega to be chancellor of the state’s system of community colleges. Pumariega worked for more than a decade at Miami Dade College, including serving as Dean of Students at the Wolfson Campus. [...]

Despite Problems With Florida’s New Test, Lawmaker Opposes Cancelling Contract

The chairman of the Senate Education committee says lawmakers aren’t interested in cancelling the six-year, $220 million contract with Florida new statewide test provider despite multiple problems with the new exams already. Twice this year contractor American Institutes for Research made changes to their system which prevented students and administrators from accessing the exam. Some [...]

Senate Committee Wants To Suspend Testing Penalties For Third Graders

Editor’s note: Check out the update to this story here. Nearly one in five Florida 3rd graders were at risk of being held back because of low scores on the state reading test last year. But this year the state might not hold back any 3rd graders. That’s because a Senate committee voted to suspend [...]

Florida Schools Report Testing Problems, Suspend Exams For Some Students

School districts around the state report students had trouble logging in or experienced slow loading time with the Florida's new online writing exam.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated. School districts across the state said students had trouble logging in to the state’s new writing exam Monday. And the test is running slowly for many who do manage to sign in. Miami-Dade schools said they’re suspending all online testing for 8th through 10th graders until the state [...]

Education Commissioner Recommends Eliminating Some State Tests

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart has recommended eliminating a high school exam, making another optional and asking state lawmakers and local school districts to cut back on the amount of testing. Stewart’s recommendations are the conclusion of a statewide review of standardized testing requested by Gov. Rick Scott. “There is, without a doubt, an excess of [...]

School Board Members Launch New Pro-School Choice Group

Escambia County school board member Jeff Bergosh is leading the new school boards group.

School board members dissatisfied with the statewide association who represents them are forming their own group, the Fort Myers News-Press and others report. One reason is the school board members are unhappy the Florida School Boards Association joined a lawsuit challenging the state’s private school tax credit scholarship. From the News-Press story: The Florida Coalition [...]

Bill Could Give Out-Of-State Charter Schools A Florida Foothold

A Rocketship Education ad, posted on Twitter, for a Washington, D.C. school choice event.

Florida charter schools which consistently earn good grades on the state’s public school report card get special privileges. Soon, out-of-state charter schools could too. It could help national charter school chains have an easier time finding a foothold in Florida. The state’s “high performing” label allows schools to expand across Florida more quickly, sign longer-term [...]

Miami-Dade Superintendent: Get Your Shots (Even Flu)

Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the district is eliminating more than 300 end-of-course exams this year, thanks to a new state law.

Miami-Dade school leaders say are concerned about a measles outbreak spreading across the country and urge parents to vaccinate their children. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho says vaccinations work and the district is tracking whether students get their required shots. Carvalho says 98 percent of Miami-Dade students have been vaccinated or are getting the shots now. “We’ve [...]

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