American Graduate Project

Black Student Suspension Rates In the South
Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education / University of Pennsylvania

Black students in the south get suspended more frequently than their peers in Northern or Western States. Georgia and Florida lead the pack,  according to a report from the University of Pennsylvania.

WFSU-TV / WFSU

During budget cuts, local school courses in arts and music are often the first to go. But what happens when a school, or district—goes against the trend and starts putting those classes back in? Jefferson county's elementary school is trying to find out.

Opponents call the program school vouchers, but the technical name is the Corporate Tax Scholarship program. It’s the subject of a lawsuit. Supporters of the program are pushing for the lawsuit to be dropped—most recently appealing to a statewide audience through a Super Bowl Ad.

The commercial features Valentin Mendez, a high school sophomore at La Progresiva, a private school in South Florida that opened 40 years ago. It has roots in Cuba.

Figg Engineering Group

A local business is marrying art with engineering—a feat that’s made it one of the most in-demand firms in the nation when it comes to building industrial bridges.  Wednesday the Figg Engineering group stopped at Trinity Catholic School to show kids how it’s done.

About 50 kids are in a large hall at Trinity Catholic School and engineer Jason Stauffer is in the middle of about 10 of them. He’s holding up pieces of reinforced steel coated in blue and green paint. The coating helps prevent rust. Stauffer is showing students how the steel is used to reinforce and construct bridges.

LHatter / WFSU News

Dogs have long been considered man’s best friend. And over the years they’ve become companions for everything from law enforcement to therapy. Now, one program is using dogs to help kids read. But does it really work?

It’s recess at Wakulla County’s Shadeville Elementary School.  And while most of the students are outside, hanging on monkey bars and rolling down the slide, fifth grader Tristan Silcox is indoors,  reading a book.

Crossroad Academy

A Gadsden County charter school has been designated as one of the best in the country and it's leaders say there's still more work to do.

It’s not easy being an A-rated school for seven years in a row. And Crossroad Academy Principal Kevin Forehand says, the school did not start out that way.

"It actually evolved from an alternative program. When the charter school law started in 1996, we picked it up in 1997," Forehand says. "I don’t want to say we had to shave the alternative image, but we had to become more than an alternative school.”

educationews.org

Florida school district officials are writing thousands of new exams to administer to students this school year. The effort to create end-of-course tests in subjects not evaluated at the state level, is causing more parents, and local education officials to call for a time out on testing.

Tallahassee mom Elizabeth Overholt is fed up.

“It’s a complete mess to start with," she says about the current state of Florida's school accountability system.

wctv.tv

The Jefferson County School District is about half the size it was a decade ago. Fewer students means less money. The district was able to build a new, combined middle-high school about five years ago with state funding, but the district now faces controversy over whether the district should build a new elementary school to replace the one that’s falling apart.

Jefferson County Library
Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

The Jefferson County town of Monticello is home to a very busy library. An infusion of state and county funding will soon bring upgrades to the facility that offers more than books.

“This is gonna be the teen room,” says Jefferson County Library Director Kitty Brooks. She’s looking at blueprints for the upcoming remodel on Wednesday afternoon.

“This used to be an old high school media center, and that used to be a recording studio,” she says, pointing to a small, padded room.  

Jefferson School Superintendent Al Cooksey lost his re-election bid Tuesday.
LHatter / WFSU News

This week, thousands of students across the Big Bend head back to the classrooms for the start of another school year. While its business as usual for many of those districts, in Jefferson County--the worst school district in the state-- there’s a lot at stake for the teachers, administrators and its superintendent.

Jefferson County School Superintendent Al Cooksey is very blunt about the current state of the district he now runs.

Perspectives: American Graduate Project

Oct 31, 2013

WFSU-FM and WFSU-TV will simulcast a town hall discussion about the American Graduate Project to encourage more high school graduation this (10/15) evening.  We get a preview of that discussion from Godby High School Principal Shelly Bell and Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO Louis Garcia.

WFSU American Graduate presents a lively discussion moderated by WFSU Program Director for News Tom Flanigan”. Hear from students, teachers, parents and legislators who are rethinking how we prepare our students for tomorrow’s workforce.

Thursday, October 24th at 8pm

WFSU

Every year, thousands of students fail to get a standard Florida high school diploma despite staying in school. Those students aren’t considered dropouts, but they aren’t counted as graduates either. Instead  those students are falling into a bit of “diploma limbo.”

According to the federal government, Florida’s graduation rate is around 74.5 percent, but that doesn’t mean a quarter of students dropped out.

High school hasn’t been easy for 19-year-old Michael Turner.

"Before I came to Ghazvini, at Leon High school it wasn’t that the work was hard. But I got into a lot of trouble,” he says.

Michael goes to Leon County’s Success Academy at the Ghazvini Learning Center. It’s is a second-chance school for kids who have fallen behind or have been expelled.  Michael falls into the first category. He says he was always a good kid, but when he got to high school, things changed. He says he was more into having fun than learning and prone to getting into trouble.

Lawyer Matt Liebenhaut

Apr 17, 2012

WFSU has been selected by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to be the American Graduate public media hub station for the North Florida area. The American Graduate project is a public media initiative funded by CPB to help local communities across America find solutions to address the dropout crisis. The initiative builds upon public media's long-standing commitment to education by facilitating conversations and strengthening partnerships between public media stations and local schools, businesses, and community organizations.

WFSU has been selected by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to be the American Graduate public media hub station for the North Florida area. The American Graduate project is a public media initiative funded by CPB to help local communities across America find solutions to address the dropout crisis. The initiative builds upon public media's long-standing commitment to education by facilitating conversations and strengthening partnerships between public media stations and local schools, businesses, and community organizations.

WFSU has been selected by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to be the American Graduate public media hub station for the North Florida area. The American Graduate project is a public media initiative funded by CPB to help local communities across America find solutions to address the dropout crisis. The initiative builds upon public media's long-standing commitment to education by facilitating conversations and strengthening partnerships between public media stations and local schools, businesses, and community organizations.