Putting Education Reform To The Test

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Gov. Scott Avoids Question About House, Senate Private School Scholarship Dispute

Gov. Rick Scott issued a record amount of budget vetoes Tuesday, including many education projects.

House and Senate leaders are divided over whether students who receive a tax credit scholarship to attend a private school should have to take the state’s standardized test. The dispute — the Senate wants the requirement, the House does not — has threatened to derail a bill which would expand eligibility for the private school [...]

Gov. Scott Supports In-State Tuition For Undocumented Immigrants

Gov. Rick Scott said he will support a Senate bill granting in-state tuition to some undocumented immigrants because the bill also would prevent universities from raising tuition above what lawmakers approve, according to the Associated Press. Lawmakers have considered in-state tuition the past several years, but the bill has never made it through both the [...]

Private School Scholarships Could Come With New State Testing Requirement

Senate President Don Gaetz wants to requires students receiving tax credit scholarships to take state standardized tests.

The debate over whether to require students using one of the state’s private school scholarship programs take state standardized tests is flaring up again. Florida lawmakers want to expand the state’s private school scholarship program for low-income students funded with tax credits. But Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, thinks the scholarships should also come with [...]

Three Questions For Florida Senate President Don Gaetz

Senate President Don Gaetz doesn't want in-state tuition for undocumented residents. He does like the idea of university performance funding.

Florida’s move toward Common Core standards in schools is sure to be discussed during the upcoming legislative session. Lawmakers will also consider allowing undocumented college students to pay cheaper, in-state tuition. Plus, state universities that improve their graduation rates may be able to boost their funding. Senate President Don Gaetz sat down with StateImpact Florida [...]

Teacher Evaluation Results: Effective or Needs Improvement?

Why are we doing this again? That’s a question people are asking around the state after seeing the second statewide batch of teacher evaluation data this week. Nearly 98 percent of teachers earned ratings of “highly effective” or “effective.” And the percentage of teachers earning the top rating increased to one in three statewide from [...]

What To Watch At This Week’s Education Summit

Gov. Rick Scott has called state education leaders together for a three-day summit in Clearwater starting today. Scott has put four items on the agenda: State education standards known as Common Core; the test which will assess those standards and (mostly) replace the FCAT; how Florida should revise its A-through-F school grading formula; and teacher [...]

PARCC: Florida’s Departure Won’t Sink Next Generation Test

Massachusetts education commissioner Mitchell Chester, right, says PARCC is in good shape even if Florida leaves the partnership.

Florida Legislative leaders left no wiggle room in last week’s letter to Education Commissioner Tony Bennett: They want Florida to pull out of a multi-state partnership developing a next generation standardized test to (mostly) replace the FCAT. Florida is not the first state to consider withdrawing from the group, known as the Partnership for the [...]

House And Senate Leaders Want Florida Out Of PARCC

Both leaders of Florida’s legislative chambers are asking Education Commissioner Tony Bennett to withdraw from a coalition of states developing a new standardized test. The Tampa Bay Times is reporting House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz, both Republicans, have sent a letter to Bennett requesting the state withdraw from the Partnership for [...]

Bill Requires Teachers Are Evaluated Based On Students They Taught

Lawmakers are working on adjustments to the state's teacher evaluation law, including requiring evaluation be based only on students in the teacher's classes.

Florida lawmakers moved a step closer to requiring teachers only are evaluated based on the performance of students in their classes, according to the Gainesville Sun. Currently, evaluations for teachers in subjects not tested by the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test are assigned a score based on the school-wide average. That means an art or music [...]

Senate Committee Approves Bill Expanding Job Training, Financial Education Programs

Financial literacy is part of a proposed law designed to better prepare students for life after graduation.

A Senate committee has approved a bill which would change requirements for certain degree programs in Florida, designating some as “high demand.” The Career and Professional Education Act, known as CAPE, would also require high school students to take a financial literacy course. The bill is a priority for Senate President Don Gaetz. The legislation [...]

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