During a time when many Florida counties were cutting back on summer school due to a lack of money, Pinellas County started expanding theirs using a combination of federal and state funds. And attendance over the past three summers has more than doubled
Orange County schools superintendent has removed a cartoon mascot depicting Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a middle school. The local school board member says Superintendent Barbara Jenkins also plans to ask the board to rename the school.
The number of students home schooling increased by more than 9 percent last year — the largest rate of growth since 2011. The percentage of students home schooling is growing faster than the rate of public school enrollment.
The Senate voted not to allow parents to opt their students out of annual state tests during debate of the rewrite of the federal No Child Left Behind law. The U.S. House has included the idea, which means the two houses will have to reach an agreement.
Seminole County schools superintendent Walt Griffin says Florida should get rid of the Florida Standards Assessments and replace it with the Iowa Test and the SAT. Both tests are taken with paper and pencil.
Two companies hired to review Florida’s public school standardized tests say they are just getting started with their evaluations. Alpine Testing Solutions, one of the companies hired by the state, is being paid nearly $600,000 to validate the tests. The Florida Standards Assessment test, administered in March, was burdened with computer glitches and system problems that hampered testing efforts in some areas.
As many Florida schools run short on room some are turning to library space to conduct state mandated testing. But librarians and school officials are expressing concern that students are losing too much time with a valuable reading and research asset.
Andrea Messina replaces Wayne Blanton leading the statewide association of school boards. The organization is regrouping after supporting after several members of leadership were defeated in elections last year.
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 then compares those rates to how well students perform on the National Assessment of Education Progress, or NAEP. Students take the NAEP every two years and the exam results are considered the gold-standard of education data.
The group has found that many states report a much higher percentage of students are proficient on state tests than are proficient on NAEP. Foundation for Excellence in Education director Patricia Levesque says some states are telling students they’re ready for college or the workforce when they might not be.
“It’s really important to look at what is the gap between how your students are doing on the national test compared to how they’re doing on the state test,” she said, “because that gap tells you, basically, how honest is your state being to parents with how their individual child is doing.
“We’ve been telling parents ‘Oh no, your child is fine.’ But then when they get to college they’re actually not ready.”
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 Florida found the idea was supported by more than 60 percent of those polled in every region of the state — North, Central, Southwest and Southeast.
Christopher McCarty is the director of the University of Florida Survey Research Center at the Bureau of Economic and Business Research. He added the question to the university’s monthly economic poll and is surprised by the result.
“Given this is somewhat of a contentious issue, certainly in other states, I thought that this might be more contentious here,” he said. “But there was strong support for requiring Spanish and requiring our children learn to be bilingual.”