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

How Miami-Dade Schools Balances What Kids Want To Eat Vs. What They Should

Some of the new choices on Miami-Dade school menus this year: Spinach lasagna, Greek yogurt and the guavalito.

For the first time in decades, the majority of U.S. school children come from low-income families. Florida has one of the highest rates in the country — federal data shows just seven states have a higher percentage of low-income students. That means more students qualify for — and depend on — free meals provided by [...]

Why ‘Community Schools’ Are Taking Root In Florida

Part of the curriculum at Evans High School

Evans High School Part of the curriculum at Evans High School Evans High School in Orange County used to be known as a dropout factory. But since 2007, it’s gone from a two-time F-rated school to a B-rated school – in one of Orlando’s most troubled neighborhoods. Now, the “community school” concept is spreading to [...]

Miami-Dade Adding Healthier Choices To School Menus

A "lean and green" meal from the Miami-Dade schools test kitchen. This one has spinach lasagna, salad and a mozerella-stuffed bread stick.

Miami-Dade school meals are going lean and green this school year. The district is adding smoothies made with Naked brand juices, greek yogurt and vegetarian lasagna. But at an event Monday unveiling the new dishes, the district was most proud of their version of a Miami classic. The “guavalito” is a whole grain, lower sugar [...]

Florida Schools Strive To Identify And Help Homeless Students

It's difficult to estimate how many students are homeless.

Students who are considered homeless by Florida schools can be living in hotels, trailer parks, in campgrounds or doubled up with friends or relatives. And with as many as 71,000 or more homeless students in the state the challenges can extend beyond the kids and families to include the schools. For most kids school is [...]

Miami-Dade Schools Eliminating Out-Of-School Suspensions

Posters advertise new Miami-Dade County school choice programs.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools plan to eliminate out-of-school suspensions this year, preferring to keep kids in class and address behavior problems. School districts around the country have made similar decisions because research and experience shows suspended students often find more trouble outside of school while on suspension. That can mean more neighborhood crime – and [...]

Jacksonville Group Connecting Teachers To Improve Training

Schultz Center president Deborah Gianoulis.

At one point, the Schultz Center had state funding and a big, multi-million dollar contract with Duval County schools to help teachers improve their craft. The Schultz Center has trained thousands of teachers since it was founded in Jacksonville in 1997. But when state revenues declined, the Schultz Center funding was cut. “The recession happened,” [...]

South Florida School Leaders Join White House Discipline Summit

Broward County schools superintendent Robert Runcie shared lessons learned at a White House summit on student discipline.

South Florida school leaders traveled to Washington Wednesday to share ideas on how to reduce on-campus arrests and suspensions. Superintendents from Broward County and Miami-Dade County shared how their districts dealt with the problem at a summit hosted by the White House. Research shows that students who are suspended before 9th grade are less likely [...]

Why Some State Test Results Are Less Honest Than Others

The difference in passing rates between state and federal tests has been dubbed the proficiency, or honesty, gap.

Some states are telling students and parents they are better at reading, writing, math and other subjects than they really are, according to a new website from the Foundation for Excellence in Education. The website, WhyProficiencyMatters.com, tracks the percentage of students scoring at grade level on state tests — “proficient” in education jargon. The site [...]

Poll: Strong Support For Requiring Public School Students To Study Spanish

Two-thirds of people surveyed in a University of Florida poll say public school students should have to study Spanish.

More than two-thirds of Florida residents polled say public school students should have to take Spanish, according to a monthly University of Florida economic survey. You’d expect South Florida residents might see a reason to require students to study Spanish — gateway to Latin America, and all — and they do. But the University of [...]

What Jobs Skills Are Florida Students Learning?

Adobe Photoshop is the top job skill Florida students are learning in school.

Earlier this week we told you about AMskills, a program bringing German-style apprenticeships to Tampa-area students. Another way Florida has tried to help school prepare students for jobs is the Career and Professional Education Act. The law helps businesses create academies within public schools to train students and help them earn professional certifications. Those certifications [...]

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