The Florida Department of Education has released practice questions for the new assessments that will replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test next year.
The tests, which are aligned to the new Common Core-based Florida Standards, are available at the Florida Standards Assessments website. Some questions are similar to what students might have seen on the FCAT—asking test-takers to identify main ideas in a text or figure out a percentage in a word problem.
And as promised, there are some new tasks in the design of the test, too. Like a prompt that asks students to drag and drop images as an answer to a question about a reading passage: Continue Reading →
Pew Research Center data shows “business conservatives” and “steadfast conservatives” — two designations Pew assigns in its poll — both oppose the standards equally. More than 60 percent of both groups said they oppose the standards.
This is very bad news for the standards’ supporters. Right-leaning supporters of Common Core say the standards are a state issue, created for states and by states (and that they wish Education Secretary Arne Duncan would stop talking about them). Opponents argue that the US Education Department’s efforts to get states to adopt the standards are an example of federal overreach.
Pew makes it clear: The opponents won. No matter how much supporters talk about state-led initiatives, the standards have been defined…
But now Bush’s support for the Common Core can’t be waved away as picking a side in an active intraparty controversy. Bush is backing an initiative that his party broadly opposes. Jindal didn’t turn on the Common Core to burnish his credentials with the most conservative Republicans. He did it to win over the mainstream.
Broward County is one of the districts training more “principal supervisors” — and giving them fewer job duties.
Desmond Blackburn leads Broward County schools’ performance and accountability efforts. He said the county started reorganizing principal supervision a few years ago. It’s why the district applied for the Wallace Foundation grant.
“The job was budget, parent, community concerns, social services, field trips, leases, reassignments — a great deal of operational points,” he said. “And teaching and learning became what we got involved in when everything else was accomplished.”
Veterans living in Florida can get in-state tuition at state colleges and universities starting Tuesday.
Veterans will pay less to attend Florida colleges and universities starting Tuesday, one of a handful of laws taking effect at the start of a new budget year.
The Florida GI bill means any veteran living in the Sunshine State only has to pay in-state tuition. That tuition is typically one-third the cost of out-of-state rates.
Our colleague at WUSF and Off The Base, Bobbie O’Brien, wrote about what else is in the bill — including scholarships for Florida National Guard members — when Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill in April:
Veterans can receive in-state tuition at Florida colleges and universities starting Tuesday, the News Service of Florida reports, one of a list of new laws that kicks in July 1. Another law changes the state’s school grading formula, stripping out some often confusing elements.
The budget spreads around a hefty surplus, adding new money to public schools, state colleges and universities, environmental projects and child welfare while leaving room for about $500 million in tax and fee cuts that are already being used as a centerpiece for Scott’s re-election campaign.
HB 7015, called the “Florida GI Bill,” provides university tuition waivers for veterans, pays for military and guard base improvements, is expected to help increase employment opportunities for veterans and allocates $1 million a year to sell the state to veterans.
The more than $30 million package requires Visit Florida to spend $1 million a year on marketing aimed at veterans and allocate another $300,000 to a new nonprofit corporation, Florida Is For Veterans, Inc. that would be used to encourage veterans to move to Florida and promote the hiring of veterans.
Federal law currently prohibits, except in rare cases, private or federal student loans from being discharged in bankruptcy. Backers of the current law, including the banking industry, have argued it helps keep a lid on interest rates by reducing the risk that borrowers will walk away from their debts in court.
Consumer advocates say the prohibition is keeping some borrowers trapped under high debt burdens that they’ll likely never be able to repay. Most other types of consumer debt, including money owed on mortgages, credit cards and auto loans, can be discharged in bankruptcy.
Mr. Harkin’s measure would allow only student loans issued by private lenders — rather than the federal government — to be discharged in bankruptcy court. Private lenders hold only about 10% to 15% of the nation’s $1.1 trillion in outstanding student debt, with the U.S. Education Department holding the rest.
Broward County schools have won a Wallace Foundation grant to study the best ways to supervise principals.
Broward County schools have won a multimillion dollar, five-year grant to help improve supervision of district principals.
The grant is part of a $30 million nationwide effort from the Wallace Foundation to focus on a little-noticed slice of school administration in 14 urban districts. The foundation hopes districts spend more time developing principals’ school leadership skills.
“In many large school districts, principal supervisors oversee too many principals – 24 on average – and focus too much on bureaucratic compliance,” Jody Spiro, the Wallace Foundation’s director of education leadership, said in a statement. “This new initiative aims to help districts move principal supervisors’ focus to one of support, freeing them to better coach and develop principals to help them improve instruction.”
A federal judge has upheld a New York City policy barring students who were not vaccinated from school if another student has a vaccine-treatable disease. The plaintiffs have appealed the decision. Florida allows exemptions from vaccine rules for religious reasons and medical need, similar to New York’s law. About 90 percent of two-year-olds treated at Florida’s county health centers are vaccinated, according to state data.
Though widespread vaccinations have practically eliminated diseases like measles and mumps from the United States, flare-ups have occurred. The 477 measles cases reported this year represent the worst year-to-date count since 1994, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Among the 25 people who contracted measles in New York City between February and April this year, two were school-age children unvaccinated because of parental refusal. When one of the children, who was being home-schooled, contracted the measles, city health officials barred that child’s sibling, who had a religious exemption, from attending school. The sibling eventually contracted measles as well. Health officials credited the decision to keep the second child out of school with stopping the spread of disease in that community.
Sixty years after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, not all classrooms reflect the dream of desegregation.
Here’s a question:How do you teach a class of all black students in an all black school that Brown v. Board of Education ended segregation decades ago?
That isn’t a hypothetical question, but one I remember clearly asking myself. I was teaching American History for the first time in one of our nation’s many embarrassingly homogeneous schools. I could not, with a straight face, teach my students that segregation had ended. They’d think that either they or I didn’t know what the word segregation meant. Continue Reading →
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