Florida

Putting Education Reform To The Test

Background

Stories about students and the initiatives designed to improve performance. Are the many education reforms Florida has adopted having an impact?

Latest Posts

John Oliver Spends 18 Minutes Shredding Standardized Testing

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

John Oliver spent 18 minutes taking on standardized testing, teacher evaluations and all things “accountability” related on his show, “Last Week Tonight.” And, of course, Florida plays a starring role. Warning: Salty language, off-color jokes and test monkeys ahead.

It Takes A “Forest” To Feed An Elementary School

The young crops in Kelsey Pharr Elementary school's new "food forest."

Rain is terrible when you’re trying to give tours of your new garden. But it’s great for the spinach, sweet potato and purple passion fruit rapidly taking root. On a very rainy day, Kelsey Pharr Elementary third graders Ronnield Luna and Jeffrey Arroyo are showing grownups around what used to be a grass field. Now [...]

Explaining Florida’s For-Profit College Industry

Corinthian Colleges, the parent company of Everest University, has agreed to sell or close all its campuses. This campus is Boston will close. Florida campuses will be sold.

Miami Herald reporter Michael Vasquez has spent a year digging into Florida’s for-profit college industry for a series called Higher Ed Hustle. About 300,000 Florida students attend a for-profit college, which often specialize in training low-skill workers for a new career. But students often find their degree doesn’t qualify for the career they were seeking, [...]

Miami-Dade Eliminates Most Local Final Exams

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.

The Miami-Dade School District is taking advantage of a new state law and eliminating more than 300 final tests — also known as end-of-course exams. The law rescinds a requirement that districts give students a final exam in all subjects that don’t already have a required state exam. “Today’s announcement should come as welcomed news [...]

New Broward College Program Wants To Train Young Artists And Designers

A new program at Broward College has just eight students and seeks to train the next generation of South Florida artists and designers. The school hopes to earn a national certification for the Visual Arts and Design Academy this spring – becoming the first community college in the South to have that. Florida’s higher education [...]

Required Financial Literacy Course Gets Second Chance in Florida Senate

The Florida Council on Economic Education says personal bankruptcies have increased 2200 percent in the last 40 years. That’s one reason why the council is leading a campaign called Require The Money Course.

Bills filed in the Florida House and Senate would require high school students to take a one-semester financial literacy course. But with just three weeks left in the legislative session, the proposals (House bill 29 and Senate bill 92)  haven’t been discussed by committees. Now, there’s another option in the Florida Senate to get the [...]

Opinion: Florida Universities Should Invest In More Hands-On Science Lessons

As a physics professor at one of Florida’s public universities, I am always looking for ways to encourage students and their parents to take on the challenge of majoring in science or engineering in college. A few weeks ago, I visited with parents of middle and high school students who attend a science-oriented school near [...]

A Q & A With The University Of Florida’s New President

W. Kent Fuchs is the new president of the University of Florida. During his time at Cornell University, he helped establish a New York City campus.

Three months ago Kent Fuchs became president of the University of Florida, leaving New York’s Cornell University. Fuchs says Florida universities are adding new faculty, but opposition to higher tuition means more pressure to find private donations. The University of Florida is also expanding a new online program, with a goal of eventually enrolling 24,000 [...]

Despite Problems, Experts Say Computerized Testing Is The Answer For Florida Schools

Despite problems with Florida's new exam, testing experts say the state's emphasis on digital lessons mean schools should use computerized testing.

Testing experts say the problems Florida’s has had with its new statewide exam so far are likely not serious enough for the state to consider throwing out this year’s test scores on the Florida Standards Assessments. Earlier this month a software problem meant students had trouble logging onto the writing exam for several days, and [...]

About That 3rd Grade Reading Requirement

Yesterday, a Senate committee appeared to suspend for one year Florida’s requirement that the lowest-performing 3rd graders be held back while the state validates results from its new test. But Senate Education committee chairman John Legg says it’s not that simple. What the committee actually did, Legg says, is put the responsibility on school districts [...]

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