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Putting Education Reform To The Test

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A Q & A With Federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan speaks at a town hall event at Pembroke Pines Charter High School in 2012.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan was in South Florida Thursday to attend the national Urban League conference in Fort Lauderdale. He chatted with StateImpact Florida about school discipline, testing requirements and how Congress is rewriting the federal No Child Left Behind education law. Q: We are currently in the midst of a national conversation about [...]

Why Some State Test Results Are Less Honest Than Others

The difference in passing rates between state and federal tests has been dubbed the proficiency, or honesty, gap.

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 [...]

Florida’s New School Standards Both “Successful” And A “Disaster”

Frances S. Tucker Elementary School fifth grade teacher Yaliesperanza Salazar. Math lessons are carefully designed to match Florida's new Common Core-based standards.

John O’Connor / StateImpact Florida Frances S. Tucker Elementary School fifth grade teacher Yaliesperanza Salazar. Math lessons are carefully designed to match Florida’s new Common Core-based standards. Florida just completed the first year of one of the biggest experiments in U.S. education. For the first time this year, every grade in every public school used [...]

How Jeb Bush’s Education Record Will Change The 2016 Republican Primary

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is expected to become a Republican presidential candidate Monday. Education has been a signature issue for Bush. He helped start Florida’s first charter school. He says schools and teachers should be judged on student performance. He pushed for vouchers for private schools. And he spent most of his time since [...]

Are High School Exit Exams An Unnecessary Barrier To Graduation?

Brandon Lewis, a junior at Miami's Dr. Michael M. Krop High School, passed Algebra I, but has struggled with the end-of-course exam in that subject.

The US high school graduation rate is at an all-time high. But why? NPR Ed partnered with 14 member stations around the country to bring you the stories behind that number. Check out the rest of the stories here in our slideshow. And find out what’s happening in your state. Eight times Brandon Lewis has taken Florida’s Algebra [...]

Superintendents Say Fewer Florida Students Will Repeat Third Grade Next Year

Broward schools superintendent Robert Runcie, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, left, and Broward Teachers Union president Sharon Glickman, right, announced the creation of two task forces to recommend changes to teacher evaluations and high school schedules.

The superintendents of Florida two largest school district say it is less likely they’ll make students repeat third grade next year because of low state reading test scores. State law requires that students earning the lowest score on the reading exam have to repeat third grade unless they are granted an exemption. About 16,000 students [...]

Evaluation: Education Commissioner Is (Mostly) Meeting Her Goals

The State Board of Education is scheduled to  review commissioner Pam Stewart's performance next week.

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart says she is largely meeting goals leading Florida schools. The State Department of Education posted Stewart’s self-evaluation of her performance Thursday. The State Board of Education is scheduled to discuss Stewart’s evaluation at a meeting next week. Stewart says she has met the top three goals set out for her by [...]

As Florida Reduces Testing, Teacher Evaluation Questions Remain

Broward Teachers Union president Sharon Glickman, with Broward County schools superintendent Robert Runcie, calling for changes to the teacher evaluation system in October.

Florida lawmakers’ decision to end mandatory final exams for every class will mean that more teachers’ performance will be judged on subjects they don’t teach. Concerned about the amount of testing in schools — and pressured by activists and educators — this year lawmakers rescinded a state law that requires school districts to have a [...]

John Oliver Spends 18 Minutes Shredding Standardized Testing

Republican, Democrat and independent candidates were unanimous Tuesday -- Florida schools test too much.

John Oliver spent 18 minutes taking on standardized testing, teacher evaluations and all things “accountability” related on his show, “Last Week Tonight.” And, of course, Florida plays a starring role. Warning: Salty language, off-color jokes and test monkeys ahead.

Despite Problems With Florida’s New Test, Lawmaker Opposes Cancelling Contract

The chairman of the Senate Education committee says lawmakers aren’t interested in cancelling the six-year, $220 million contract with Florida new statewide test provider despite multiple problems with the new exams already. Twice this year contractor American Institutes for Research made changes to their system which prevented students and administrators from accessing the exam. Some [...]

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