Putting Education Reform To The Test


Florida Legislature

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Required Financial Literacy Course Gets Second Chance in Florida Senate

Bills filed in the Florida House and Senate would require high school students to take a one-semester financial literacy course. But with just three weeks left in the legislative session, the proposals (House bill 29 and Senate bill 92)  haven’t been discussed by committees. Now, there’s another option in the Florida Senate to get the […]

Bill Would Set Minimum Teacher Starting Salary Of $50,000

Beginning teachers would earn at least a $50,000 salary – starting next school year – under a bill filed this week in Tallahassee. Sen. Darren Soto (D-Orlando) filed the bill, SB 280, which cites a need for the state to attract and retain teachers. It seeks to increase their pay without affecting other personnel and […]

Why Small Schools Might Be Better For Students Than Small Classes

The School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) in Tallahassee has just over 300 students, and the waiting list to get in is much longer. Maureen Yoder is one of the founders of the 15-year-old K-8 charter school. “We started this school with the intent of keeping it small because we want to create a school […]

South Florida State House Candidates Agree There’s Too Much Testing

The candidates running for three South Dade state House seats — Republican, Democrat, independent — all agree that Florida students and schools spend too much time testing. Candidates running for the Florida House of Representatives in the 112th, 114th and 115th districts gathered for an education forum Tuesday night at Palmetto Middle School. “The biggest […]

Lawmaker Says Financial Aid Could Depend On Classes, Not Just Test Scores

A key Senate lawmaker may put less emphasis on test scores to determine which students qualify for state financial aid for college — possibly including Bright Futures. Instead, scholarships  and grants would depend more on taking tougher classes in high school. Senator John Legg, R-Trinity, said he and other lawmakers have heard complaints and concerns […]

New Bright Futures Rules Changing College Plans For Florida Students

Most new Palm Beach College Students were going through orientation earlier this month, but Jake Seiler was wrapping up his first three courses. Despite earning the highest SAT scores of his two siblings — 1100, on six attempts — Seiler didn’t score high enough this year to earn the Bright Futures Florida Medallion scholarship his […]

Why Florida Wants To Expand Single-Gender Classes

A handful of public schools in Florida have either all-girls or all-boys classrooms. More could be coming. Rep. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah, is behind a bill that would have one school in each school district offer only single sex classes. The proposed legislation would create a pilot project in designated districts for two years. “With the idea […]

Extra Reading Instruction Improved Most School Scores, Review Finds

The 100 Florida schools earning the lowest scores on the FCAT reading test are required to add an extra hour of instruction time. A new review from the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability has found the extra hour has helped students at most of those schools improve their reading scores. Lawmakers required […]

The Pros And Cons Of Appointing Florida’s Schools Chief

For our story this week about all the pressure facing Florida’s education commissioners we spoke with two former education commissioners — one elected and one appointed. Florida elected education commissioners until 2003, when a state constitutional amendment made the job appointed. Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Jim Horne as commissioner in 2003. Now, the governor appoints […]

Report: Florida Universities Improve Grad Rates While Keeping Costs Down

A new report finds Florida’s public university system is a good model in affordability for the rest of the country. Florida Rising: An Assessment of Public Universities in the Sunshine State analyzed cost, administrative and academic spending, curriculum, and graduation rates at Florida’s 11 universities. (Florida Polytechnic University – the 12th in the system – […]

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