schools

Crime
5:31 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Governor, Cabinet Approve Search For Bodies At Dozier

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., talks to reporters at the closed Dozier School for Boys in March with University of South Florida forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle (left) and Wansley Walters, secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
Credit Bill Cotterell / Reuters/Landov

As expected, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet on Tuesday authorized a year-long dig for human remains at a closed Panhandle reform school, saying the state cannot ignore abuse that went on for decades.

Read more
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.

Read more
Crime
7:49 am
Wed July 31, 2013

In Florida, A Clash Over Exhuming Bodies At Reform School

Metal crosses mark graves at the cemetery of the former Arthur Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Fla. Investigators in Florida using ground-penetrating radar and soil samples say there are nearly 100 unmarked graves on the grounds.
Michael Spooneybarger Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 12:32 pm

Researchers at the University of South Florida are fighting with the state over access to the grounds of a now-closed reform school.

For decades, the Dozier School for Boys was notorious for the harsh treatment boys received there. Now, a forensic anthropologist and her team want permission to exhume dozens of bodies they found in unmarked graves, but are meeting resistance from state officials.

White House Boys

Read more
Testing
1:08 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

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

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 12:23 pm

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.

Read more
Classroom Contemplations
12:09 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Why Relying On Tests Only Reinforces Bad Behavior In Schools

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 10:00 am

There are some real perils to systems which try to reduce teacher performance to a single number, such as many of our new “value-added” formulas.

The first is that whatever you decide to measure — and, implicitly or explicitly reward — is what you are going to get.

Read more
Schools
11:32 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Bennett Will Suggest Grading System Changes This Week

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:11 pm

Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett said he will recommend changes to the state’s A through F school grading system by the end of the week.

Bennett met with school superintendents and researchers Monday to gather concerns and suggestions about the school grading system.

Superintendents said they were concerned state requirements had changed too quickly the past two years for students test scores to keep pace.

Read more
Diversity
6:30 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Se Habla Espanol? Pioneering Bilingual Ed At Miami's Coral Way Elementary

A first-grade, Spanish-language reading class at Coral Way Elementary in 1964. A thermometer on the wall shows that it was cold on that winter day.
Credit University of Arizona's Coral Way Bilingual Elementary Program Oral History Project

The first English/Spanish bilingual education program in the country started at Miami's Coral Way Elementary in 1963. It was supposed to be a temporary curriculum to help Cuban students retain their language and culture, while people waited for the Castro regime to fall. 

Today the school, which has since expanded to the eighth grade, continues to thrive. Coral Way's elementary students spend about 60% of the day learning in English and 40% learning in Spanish.

Read more
Politics
6:48 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Jeb Bush Is Sticking To His Guns On Parent Trigger Bill

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 12:47 pm

The Foundation for Florida’s Future isn’t giving up on the parent trigger bill. They’re asking people to announce their support on Twitter and other social media with ready-made post to cut and paste.

The bill — officially titled Parent Empowerment in Education — would give parents more power in choosing how to change a chronically failing school.

Read more
Florida Legislature
3:40 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Teachers May Receive Raises Sooner Than June 2014

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 11:04 am

Teachers might not have to wait another year for a raise after all.

Leaders in the Florida Legislature are working on a fix to the education budget that provides $480 million in raises for teachers and other school personnel.

But according to the budget, that money won’t be in paychecks until June 2014.

Lawmakers say a technical fix should get teachers their raises before next year.

Read more
Politics
10:43 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Lawmakers, Gov. Scott Compromise On Teacher Raises

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 9:52 am

Lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott reached a compromise on $480 million in raises for teachers and other school workers.

The raises are part of a $74 billion spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Districts will have flexibility in how the money is awarded based on local collective bargaining agreements.

Read more
Common Core
10:52 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

New Yorkers Sound Off On New Common Core Tests

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 2:03 pm

A professor at Teacher’s College, Columbia University has set up a website to allow New York students, parents and educators to post comments about the new state English language arts test.

The tests are now tied to Common Core education standards adopted by 45 states — including Florida. New York students have been taking the exams for the first over the last few weeks.

Read more
Online Education
4:33 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Florida Investigates Teacher Certification At Online Giant K12

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 10:52 pm

An inquiry by the Florida Department of Education’s Inspector General found that online educator K12 Inc. employed three teachers in Florida who lacked proper certification to teach some subjects, according to a draft report.

Virginia-based K12 is the nation’s largest operator of online schools. K12 operates in 43 Florida school districts, including in Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, Orange and Duval counties.

Read more
Secondary Education
10:29 am
Mon April 22, 2013

How Florida High School Graduation Requirements Will Change in 2013-2014

Lawmakers say they are not lowering the bar by easing some high school graduation requirements.

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 12:44 pm

oscarandtara / Flickr

Read more
Common Core
5:06 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Florida Board Of Education To Meet; Common Core, Teacher Pay Top Agenda

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 2:37 pm

Will Florida need a ‘Plan B’ test for new standards set to hit state schools in 2014? And if not, will school have the computers and bandwidth necessary for the online tests?

That’s just one item on tomorrow’s State Board of Education agenda.

Read more
Common Core
4:04 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

The Resignation Letter That Has Common Core Critics Talking

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 8:00 am

As the spring semester winds down around the country, one teacher, Gerald Conti, is not going quietly.

Conti is retiring from Westhill High School in Syracuse, NY at the end of this school year and his resignation letter has become a manifesto for critics of the Common Core.

Read more

Pages