Archive for the blog Category

Parents, Districts, Department of Education face off over 3rd grade retention

Parents, Districts, Department of Education face off over 3rd grade retention

A showdown is occurring over the issue of mandatory 3rd grade retention. Third grade students whose parents opted them out of the Florida Standards Assessment this spring are now faced with possible retention regardless of their classroom performance or grades. Manatee County was refusing to promote children

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Students Shine at Second GradNation Summit

Students Shine at Second GradNation Summit

Pinellas and Hillsborough Student Alliance for Public Schools members presented their research and ideas on closing achievement gaps and raising graduation rates at our second annual GradNation Community Summit on Wednesday. The summit, held in St. Petersburg with partners America’s Promise Alliance and UnitedWay Suncoast, was attended

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Sneaky senator breathes life into bad bills

Sneaky senator breathes life into bad bills

  In an eleventh hour move, Senator Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) added over a hundred pages of policy changes to two unrelated bills. The amendments attach numerous bills together in what is commonly referred to as a “train.” Some bills, thought to be long dead, now comprise two

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Florida House wants to push property tax dollars to unpredictable charters

Florida House wants to push property tax dollars to unpredictable charters

The Florida House is pushing to force school districts to turn over a portion of local property taxes to charter schools. These schools are housed in privately owned buildings on privately owned land that would be improved with public dollars. Some legislators are pushing to steer more

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House and Senate Divided on Education Budget

House and Senate Divided on Education Budget

The House and Senate released their Education budgets last week with the Senate proposing more per pupil funding and less charter school construction money than the House. The House version asks property tax payers to bear much of the funding burden while the Senate expects the state

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What to expect in the 2016 Florida Legislative Session

What to expect in the 2016 Florida Legislative Session

The 2016 Florida Legislative Session begins Tuesday. What should public education supporters expect? Well, not much according to policy leaders in Tallahassee. Congress passed a sweeping overhaul to No Child Left Behind at the end of 2015, keeping annual testing but providing a great deal of flexibility

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6 Things you need to know about the end of No Child Left Behind

6 Things you need to know about the end of No Child Left Behind

6 Things you need to know about the end of No Child Left Behind In 2007, Congress was supposed to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act (No Child Left Behind). Eight years later, it looks like they will finally get around to it. Yesterday, the Senate Education

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Four surprising findings that will increase graduation rates

Four surprising findings that will increase graduation rates

Last year members of the Student Alliance for Public Schools conducted research at 4 high schools in Hillsborough County about barriers and needed supports related to high school graduation. They found that what students identified as the most important element in their quest for a diploma is

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Florida test declared valid

Florida test declared valid

The Florida Department of Education released the findings of the state mandated validity study of its Florida Standards Assessment this morning. The study found the test to be reliable and it can be used to evaluate teachers and determine school grades. However, the report recommended that the

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Will Florida’s new test be valid?

Will Florida’s new test be valid?

Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature passed a law requiring a validity study of the state’s new annual test that replaced the FCAT. The Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) was first used last school year and it’s implementation was fraught with technology problems and reports of flawed questions. Two different

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