Schools in Finland are scrapping subject-based classes, like math and foreign language, in favor of lesson on topics. The idea is similar to what American education reformer John Dewey proposed a century ago.
A college education is generally considered a student’s best shot at getting a good job these days, and it’s often assumed most high schoolers are prepared to attend college.
But there’s one group that has been quietly excluded from that process — students with intellectual disabilities.
A program at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg is giving these students college experience that while it’s not a traditional degree, it’s giving them a head start on their career goals.
“I work at the waterfront and we help people check out canoes, kayaks and paddle boards. This is something that I want to work at in my future,” said Jones.
A Senate committee has approved a bill which would limit state testing. The bill also allows districts which had technology problems during testing to get a waiver from using those results to calculate school or teacher performance.
Parents could enroll their child in any Florida school which isn’t full, according to a school choice bill approved by a Senate committee Wednesday. Parents could also pull their child from a class taught by someone working outside of her or her subject field.
It’s a hearty perennial for state lawmakers, but this year it seems pension reform is going nowhere. That should be a relief to teachers, which have fought efforts to eliminate the traditional pension for new hires.
A draft budget from House lawmakers falls short of the school funding campaign promise Gov. Rick Scott made on the campaign trail. The House plan would allocate $7,129 per student — less than the $7,176 that Scott sought.
This week, PBS is launching a new documentary series “180 Days.”
One of the films focuses on Hartsville, South Carolina, a rural and poor district which has managed to become one of the highest rating school districts according to South Carolina’s ranking.
Tampa public media station WUSF hosted a town hall meeting at Artz 4 Life Academy in Clearwater last week to screen a portion of the movie and to discuss education issues. Artz 4 Life is an after-school arts and life coaching program.
Big on the mind of those who attended was Florida’s new test, the Florida Standards Assessments. The test is linked to Florida’s new Common Core-based math and language arts standards, which outline what students should know by the end of each grade.
But parents were worried the new test is expected to be tougher, and must be taken on a computer.
“We went from FCAT to FSA and that’s worse than what we were already at,” said mom of three Lisa Hewitt. “We set our students up to fail…If they weren’t doing so well in FCAT why would we develop another test that’s worse?
Despite pleas from superintendents, parents and others, a House committee does not want to wait a year before issuing school grades based on Florida’s new test results. While the state will issue school grades this year, those grades will have no consequences.
School districts would have to share local school construction and maintenance money with charter schools, according to an amendment filed by an influential state senator.
Sen. Don Gaetz, a former Senate president, filed the amendment Tuesday. The amendment would require half of the money raised by an optional local property tax to be split between charter and traditional schools on a per-student basis.
Studies have found publicly-funded, but privately-run charter schools typically receive less money per student than traditional public schools. A good piece of the difference in Florida is the local construction money — which few school districts share with charter schools.
Earmarking a source of construction funding has been a top priority of charter schools for years. Charter schools argue their parents are taxpayers too, so public money should pay for charter school construction and maintenance.
Every year school districts and charter schools fight over a dwindling pool of construction and maintenance money funded by utility taxes in the state budget. Gov. Rick Scott’s plan to cut those taxes could mean even less money to fight over.
A state senator says Florida should restrict the number of four-year degree programs that community colleges offer. The programs are a growing — and less expensive — alternative to degrees from Florida universities. But Sen. Joe Negron says community colleges should focus on two-year degrees and workforce training.