Education

StateImpact Florida
10:46 am
Thu August 15, 2013

What A School Grade Means To Parents

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 11:45 am

Florida’s system of giving schools grades from A-to-F has been in the spotlight this summer.

First, state officials made last-minute changes to the A-to-F formula, preventing more than 150 schools from dropping to F grades.

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Back To School
8:00 am
Thu August 15, 2013

As Teachers Know, School Is A Home Away From Home

They're all grown up! As they prepare to go off to college in just a few days, these recent graduates came back to their alma mater to talk about it.

My kids are off to college. It is a bittersweet moment. I am – of course – incredibly proud of them. I’m excited for all of the experiences and opportunities that lay before them; but I am also sad, and a little worried, because they will be on their own and so far away from home.

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StateImpact Florida
5:09 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

St. Johns County Republicans Have A Few Questions About New Education Standards

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 8:15 am

The St. Johns County Republican Assembly is the latest GOP group to ask questions — quite literally — about new education standards fully adopted by Florida and 44 other states.

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StateImpact Florida
8:23 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Is Florida's School Grading System Too Complicated?

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 3:17 pm

Florida officials made just two major changes to the state formula which determines A-to-F school grades during the first six years of its use — adding a component to measure student test improvement from year-to-year and expanding the number of students included in the formula.

But since 2010 the state has made 16 changes to the formula, including adding new test results, increasing target test scores, factoring in high school graduation rates and accelerated coursework and adding scores for students with disabilities or those learning English.

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StateImpact Florida
5:12 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Classroom Contemplations: How Teachers Find Success From Failure

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 10:37 am

Editor’s note: Names of students and teachers have been changed.


Knowing we were going to be talking about former students, Lisa Perry told me she got out some letters she had saved and read through them.  The exercise inspired her to get in touch with four of her students from over 20 years ago.  (“Facebook is a wonderful thing,” she told me.)

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Academics
8:27 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Why There's An Atmosphere Of Crisis In The Humanities

The number of humanities majors are in rapid decline, as is students' interest in reading and -- interestingly -- reading test scores.

“Why do we have to learn this?” Every teacher has heard a student ask this question.  It is often followed with, “When will I ever use this?” 

Perhaps anyone who was ever a student – i.e. all of us – has either uttered or thought the very same thing.  And they are indeed valid questions.

After all, when will the average person need to calculate the square root of an imaginary number? Or determine how many moles of oxide are in a substance? Or explain the difference between Aristotelian and Shakespearean tragedies? 

In all honesty, the answer is probably never.

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Common Core
10:24 am
Thu August 8, 2013

New York Scores Drop On Test Tied To Common Education Standards

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 1:44 pm

Educators say the percentage of students meeting state goals on Florida’s math and reading tests will decline after the state switches to new standards known as Common Core.

How bad will it be? Check out the test results released today in New York.

Just 31 percent of New York students in third through eighth grades were proficient on the new math and reading exam. Last year, 65 percent were proficient in math and 55 percent were proficient in English on different exams.

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People
6:21 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Chancellor To Leave Florida For Higher Ed Post In Pennsylvania

Frank Brogan
Credit flbog.edu

Florida Chancellor Frank Brogan was named to a similar position in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, signaling an end to his four-year tenure as head of the State University System.

The board of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education tapped Brogan for the position during a meeting Wednesday. The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News reported that the vote was 15-0, and that Brogan would make $327,500. He will start the job Oct. 1.

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Common Core
10:43 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Indiana Panel Begins Review Of Common Core Education Standards

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 11:13 am

Indiana lawmakers held the first of a series of hearings on the future of Common Core State Standards yesterday.

The first hearing focused on the quality of the standards, while subsequent meetings will look at assessment and cost.

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Teaching
11:12 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Classroom Contemplations: Little Books, Big Statement

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 12:00 pm

Ms. Roberts left teaching ten years ago, but she remembers very clearly a day in class that changed her and her students.

It was her first year and she was teaching English to over two hundred kids a day in Room 100, also known as “the Pit.”  The name came from the fact that her class was where several other Language Arts teachers had transferred challenging students.

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Politics
8:22 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Bennett Resignation Buoys Critics Of Testing

Tony Bennett
Credit Florida Department of Education

For the third time in Gov. Rick Scott's two-and-a-half years as governor, there is no permanent leader in place for the Department of Education.

Departures are nothing new for the Scott administration. At least 11 department heads during Scott's term have resigned; the governor is also on his third chief of staff and is still looking for a replacement for Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll.

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Politics
5:48 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Florida's Education Chief Resigns Over Grading Scandal

Florida's former Commissioner of Education Tony Bennett.
Florida Department of Education

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:01 pm

In education circles, Tony Bennett is widely known as a hard-charging Republican reformer associated with Jeb Bush's prescriptions for fixing public schools: charter schools, private school vouchers, tying teacher pay to student test scores and grading schools on a A through F scale.

Bennett resigned from his post as Florida's education chief this morning when a controversy over the last of those things — the school grades — caught up with him.

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Politics
12:32 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett Resigns

Tony Bennett

Update 2:24 p.m.: Florida is looking for a new education commissioner. Tony Bennett resigned today – effective immediately – after just six months on the job.

Allegations surfaced this week that Bennett changed the school grading system in Indiana to benefit a campaign contributor while he served as that state's elected superintendent.

Bennett said the allegations were unfounded, but he decided to step down because they had become a distraction.

Senate Education Committee Chairman John Legg says Bennett did the right thing.

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Politics
11:33 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Archive: A Conversation With Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett

NEW EDUCATION COMMISSIONER: Tony Bennett was Superintendent of Public Instruction in Indiana for one term. He lost his re-election bid in November 2012, and was appointed Florida's schools chief by Gov. Rick Scott.
Credit Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana

Editor's Note:   Shortly after Tony Bennett began as the state's Education Commissioner last December, he sat down with WLRN's former StateImpact reporter Sarah Gonzalez.  They talked about his time as head of Indiana's school system and what plans he had for Florida's.  

Tony Bennett drove from Indiana over the weekend to start his first day as schools chief in Florida on Monday.

Last month the State Board of Education hired Bennett, a Republican who served as Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction for one term.

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Politics
11:24 am
Thu August 1, 2013

The School At The Heart Of Bennett Controversy: The Philanthropy And Philosophy Of Christel DeHaan

Christel DeHaan
Credit Matt Detrich / Indianapolis Star

Editor's Note:  On Monday, the Associated Press published emails from 2012 showing former Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett and his staff in Indiana discussing how to change that state's grading formula to boost the grade of an Indianapolis charter school run by a prominent Republican donor.

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