Putting Education Reform To The Test


The dollars and sense of educating students, from state and local budgets to tax credits and school financing.

Latest Posts

New Florida Teacher Bonus Program Draws Complaints

Miami Republican Rep. Erik Fresen came up with the bonus program after reading a book examining top-performing education systems.

In Brigette Kinney’s design class at Ada Merritt K-8 center in Miami, one of the key concepts is editing and revising ideas after getting feedback. Her 8th graders created role-playing games based on books they read. And then adjust the games, after watching their classmates play. Kinney hopes Florida lawmakers will be as open to [...]

Florida Teachers Say Deadline To Apply For New Bonuses Is Unfair

Miami teacher Brigette Kinney qualifies for a new state bonus program,  but disagrees with the concept.

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 [...]

Rock Band Offers Miami Students Financial Lesson Based On Personal Experience

The band GOODING performs at Miami Beach High School. The band visits schools around the country to play their music and teach financial lessons.

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 [...]

New Database Shows How Student Earnings Compare For Florida Colleges

A snapshot of data for Florida International University.

Lots of schools promise to train students to be nurses, technicians or other in-demand medical careers. But a new federal database shows that isn’t always the case. At some schools only a small percentage of students who attend using federal grants or loans earn more than a high school graduate a decade after enrolling in [...]

Charity Helps Florida Students Get Dressed To Head Back To School

Lizbeth Engle packs boxes of clothing

As schools open for a new school year, they’ll also start encountering student poverty and homelessness. At last count — the 2013/2014 school year –  the number of homeless students had risen to more than 71,000 in the state’s public schools. For many of these children, a brand new school uniform may be out of [...]

State Board Of Education Sets New Goals For Some Teacher Evaluations

Jeremy Glazer says teacher evaluations miss some of the most important work he does.

The State Board of Education has approved a new statewide standard for the test-based portion of teacher evaluations. State law requires that teachers are evaluated each year. That evaluation must include how well that teacher’s students performed on standardized exams — and whether they did better or worse than expected, based on a complex statistical [...]

Gov. Scott Breaks Budget Veto Record

Gov. Rick Scott’s budget veto list broke records Tuesday, and education projects weren’t spared despite Scott’s emphasis on K-12 funding this year. In total, Scott vetoed $461.4 million from the now $78.7 billion spending plan. Scott signed the plan in private Tuesday and the budget takes effect July 1. Among the largest items Scott trimmed [...]

Gov. Scott Pushes Lawmakers On School Funding

Gov. Rick Scott spoke at a Miami elementary school to urge lawmakers to increase school funding.

Gov. Rick Scott visited a Miami elementary school Monday to ask lawmakers to meet his request for school funding. Lawmakers return to Tallahassee today to finish the budget. The big disagreement is how to pay for health care. And that could affect how much money is left for education. Scott opposes expanding the state-run Medicaid [...]

How The Internet Is Helping Florida Students Pay For Their Education

Ashley Jean is graduating from Miami’s iPrep Academy this week. And then she’s planning to travel the world. Jean will start a global studies program through Long Island University that will eventually take her to places like Costa Rica, Australia, Bali and Spain. That’s a lot of plane tickets. “I don’t want money to be [...]

College-Affiliated Bank Accounts Often Not A Good Deal For Students

The federal government should ban overdraft fees for financial accounts established through a partnership between banks and colleges and universities, according to a new report from the Center for Responsible Lending. Those overdraft fees can cost students hundreds of dollars a year — more than books — on accounts often set up to handle financial [...]

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