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Hundreds Rally For School Choice At The Capitol

They came by the hundreds wearing bright yellow shirts emblazoned with School Choice Day across the front. Kids from around Florida waved signs outside the Capitol with messages scrawled in different colors: “Thank you for my scholarship.” “Parental choice matters.” “We need educational options.” The event drew lawmakers and other state leaders. Education Commissioner Tony Bennett took the podium […]

House Committee Approves Bill Creating Three High School Diploma Options

The House Education committee unanimously approved a bill creating three high school diploma options for Florida students. Students could choose from scholar, college and career and industry options. The scholar option requires high-level courses — such as Physics and foreign language — while the industry option lets students opt for professional training classes and certification. […]

House Speaker Says New Tests May Not Be Ready By Deadline

House Speaker Will Weatherford says Florida needs to be ready in case the test accompanying new education standards isn’t ready by a spring 2015 deadline. The standards, known as Common Core State Standards, are scheduled to be taught in every Florida grade beginning with the 2014-15 school year. The standards are a new way of […]

Parent Trigger Supporters Try To Debunk ‘Misconceptions’ About The Bill

Supporters of the parent trigger bill held a briefing with reporters today near the Capitol. The briefing was hosted by Patricia Levesque, executive director of the Foundation for Florida’s Future. The foundation was created by former Gov. Jeb Bush. The group is staunchly behind proposed legislation titled Parent Empowerment in Education (SB862/HB867). It’s much better […]

Senate President Says Florida Should Meet Deadline For New Education Standards, Testing

Senate President Don Gaetz is a former school board member and district superintendent, so he knows a thing or two about big changes in school policy. Florida lawmakers, Education Commissioner Tony Bennett and outside experts have all raised questions about whether Florida and other states will meet a fall 2014 deadline for new education standards […]

Committee Gives Parent Trigger Bill First Approval

House Choice and Innovation subcommittee approved The Parent Empowerment in Education bill, better known as the parent trigger, Thursday. The bill (HB867) is making a return after passing the House last year but dying in the Senate on a tie vote the final day of the legislative session. Critics say the bill is designed to […]

Three Questions For Orange County Superintendent On Common Core

When Gov. Rick Scott gave his State of the State speech this week, he made a point of recognizing educators who “help make dreams come true for the next generation.” He singled out Orange County Superintendent Barbara Jenkins, who was in the House Chambers as the governor’s guest. “Barbara, will you please stand so we […]

Five Education Issues To Watch During The 2013 Florida Legislative Session

The 2013 Legislative session officially opens today in Tallahassee. Lawmakers will meet for 60 days and with no election or redistricting, fewer high-profile issues and a small budget surplus, education could be a headline issue this year. Here’s five things to watch as lawmakers return. Budget: Teacher raises? State analysts project Florida will have a […]