7:00 am
Thu October 11, 2012

To Shut Down Or Invest More In Failing Schools?

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 3:03 pm



I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will speak with a former education official who has had a change of heart about some of the school reforms she once championed. Diane Ravitch will be with us in just a few minutes.

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NPR Ed Chat
4:34 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Slideshow: NPR's Tell Me More And WLRN Partner For Live Tweet-Up

All photos by Ben Guzman

Since early September, #NPRedchat has allowed us to take a deeper look at education and explore ways of engaging not only with our radio audience, but with the digital public on Twitter as well.  Today, we are talking with educators, parents and students from Florida to California, on critical education issues facing the nation.

The conversations on #NPRedchat have informed our journalism in unexpected and exciting ways and today’s LIVE Twitter Education Forum was no different.

This Is NPR
4:34 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Finding the Stories Impacted By Education Policy

StateImpact Reporters Sarah Gonzalez (c) and John O'Connor (r) interview Dr. Ken Atwater (l), president of Hillsborough Community College, for a StateImpact Florida piece.
StateImpact Florida

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 4:32 pm

In honor of today's Twitter Education Forum (#npredchat) at 11 a.m. (Eastern) hosted by NPR's midday-talk program Tell Me More with Michel Martin, here's a closer look at the StateImpact Florida team.

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2:39 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Miami-Dade School System Inducts 14 Into Hall Of Fame

Former U.S. Senator and Florida Governor Bob Graham is a student for the night.

Fourteen of Miami-Dade Public School System's better-known and accomplished graduates were inducted into the first official Hall of Fame, Monday night at the New World Center in Miami Beach.

Education Reform
11:14 am
Wed October 10, 2012

TELL US MORE: What Do You Think About Education Reform?

The Tell Me More and StateImpact Florida team will be hosting an education reform conversation all day. Keep the conversation going online: #NPRedchat.
John O'Connor StateImpact Florida

Missed the Tell Me More radio special this morning? No worries: the education reform debate continues online.  

NPR's news-talk program Tell Me More is in the WLRN studios with StateImpact Florida all day for an extensive discussion on education in America. 

Tell Me More and StateImpact Florida are asking:

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Affirmative Action
8:01 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Justices Return To Affirmative Action In Higher Ed

Students walk through the University of Texas, Austin, campus near the school's iconic tower on Sept. 27.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:48 am

The U.S. Supreme Court returns on Wednesday to the emotional issue of affirmative action in higher education. The court will once again hear oral arguments on the issue, this time in a case from the University of Texas.

Over the past 35 years, the court has twice ruled that race may be one of many factors in determining college admissions, as long as there are no racial quotas. Now, just nine years after its last decision, the justices seem poised to outright reverse or cut back on the previous rulings.

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10:55 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

NPR's Tell Me More Live From WLRN Studios At 11:00am With #npredchat

NPR's news-talk program Tell Me More is teaming up with StateImpact Florida for an extensive discussion on education in America. After launching an ongoing Twitter Education Forum (#npredchat) with leaders in education, teachers, parents and students, the program has jump-started a national dialogue on education. 

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5:31 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Education: Obama And Romney Mostly Agree

Candidates mostly agree on education
klootch1 flickr

If there are any undecided voters left in Florida, just weeks before the election, chances are they're educators.

Many say President Obama and Mitt Romney have strong education platforms that differ so subtly it may take a teacher's practiced eye to tell them apart.

"They're both strong on testing and accountability," says Doug Tuthill, who runs a nonprofit in Tampa for low-income K-through-12 students. "They both believe that student achievement should be included in teacher evaluation systems.

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12:41 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Will Amendment 8 Allow Florida To Fund Religious Schools? Not Directly

James G. Blaine, a former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representative.

Alachua County school board member Eileen Roy has called a proposed constitutional amendment coming before voters in November “the very death of public schools.”

The state’s largest teacher’s union is running ads against the change and mobilizing teachers to get out and vote against it.

Amendment 8 – dubbed the Religious Freedom Amendment – is likely to be one of the most contested ballot questions this fall.

The big question: Will it take taxpayer dollars away from public schools — to fund private, religious schools?

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School Custodians
12:29 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Breaking Back: Why Florida Schools Are Asking Janitors To Pass A Fitness Test

Schools are short janitors, and custodians like Sylvia Moya say they’re working overtime, scrambling to keep schools clean.
Sarah Gonzalez StateImpact Florida

Many school districts say math and science teachers are among the most difficult positions to fill.

But in Orlando schools, custodians are the highest in demand.

This summer, the Orange County school district asked principals which positions they needed help filling.

The top answer across the district? School Custodians.

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Teacher Shortage
12:43 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Why Florida Schools Struggle to Hire Teachers By The Start Of School

Students at DeSoto County High School started the year without their permanent leadership, Spanish or French teachers. In the meantime, Ronnie Padilla — typically a math tutor — is filling in as the substitute. Only he doesn’t speak any French or Spanish.
Sarah Gonzalez StateImpact Florida

Schools have been open for a couple of weeks across much of Florida, but not all of the students know who their teachers are yet.

There’s typically a lot of teacher turnover during the summer break, and schools can’t always get vacant teaching positions filled by the time school starts.

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Summer School
12:35 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

No Summer School Means Some Students Repeat a Grade This Fall

Vanessa Richter, 17, works on her online summer course as her friends eat lunch at a food court.
Sarah Gonzalez StateImpact Florida

Last year, Luis Gonzalez failed freshman English, Algebra and Physical Science. When he starts school later this month, he’ll still be considered a freshman.

His school has a different name for it.

“They call it a ‘fresh-more,’” he said. “By years I’m a sophomore. But I’m going to have freshman classes.”

Gonzalez thought he could make up the classes during summer school.

But summer school wasn’t an option for the Pasco County student.

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English Language Learners
11:54 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Students Learning English Get Extra Reading Help At Summer Camp

Students at Aprendo Porque Juego Summer Camp practice their summer musical.
Sarah Gonzalez/StateImpact Florida

Juan Galvez is going into 4th grade. His parents are from Bolivia and Guatemala, and they only speak Spanish.

When it comes to homework, Juan is usually on his own.

“My mom helps me a little because she knows the math,” says Juan. “But with reading, I’m good. I do it by myself.”

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School Suspensions
12:37 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

In-School Suspension: a Better Alternative or Waste of Time?

Students at Power U Center in Miami advocate for keeping students in class and out of in-school-suspension.
Sarah Gonzalez StateImpact Florida

There is a place on school campuses for students who break the rules.

In some Florida schools, it’s called SCSI.

Marcus Pryor, a junior at Miami Northwestern Senior High, thinks it stands for School Criminal Scene Investigation.

SCSI actually stands for School Center for Special Instruction. And in Miami, it’s where students go when they get an in-school suspension.

It’s an alternative to out-of-school suspension Florida schools can use for offenses considered minor, like consistent tardiness, wearing baggy clothing or cutting class.

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FCAT 2.0
12:46 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Inside FCAT 2.0: What Changes Mean for Teachers, Students

At Booker T. Washington High School, students likes Danna Contreras, took turns taking the online FCAT reading test because there aren’t enough computers for sophomores to take the test at the same time.
Sarah Gonzalez StateImpact Florida

Danna Contreras doesn’t like the new FCAT.

The sophomore at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami emigrated from Colombia three years ago.

She wears thick, pink-rimmed glasses and she squints a lot. She says the new computerized version is harder to take.

“I think I am better with paper, not on the computer because sometimes my eyes hurt,” she said.

That’s not the only reason she’s worried about her reading score.

“I have difficulty speaking English and the vocabulary is really hard,” she said.

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