3:12 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Florida DOE Announces Standardized Testing Review


The Florida Department of Education has announced plans to review the state’s standardized testing.  The move comes after a year of criticism for testing policies, and continued opposition to new learning standards.

This Spring Florida students will face a new statewide exam that replaces the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Students will take end-of-course exams in every grade and most subjects.

“I believe you should have accountability," Senate President Andy Gardiner recently told reporters."  I think there should be testing.  I think the jury is still out on overtesting.”

Some school districts have passed resolutions against standardized testing and some parent groups are pushing for the chance to opt their children out of some exams. The department of education says its review of standardized testing is meant to show parents how the tests are used, and to find quote “deregulation opportunities for the school system.”

Florida Department of Education Commissioner Pam Stewart says there are no plans to pause the end-of-course exams or the Florida Standards Assessment, which will start in the Spring.

During his campaign, Governor Rick Scott promised a review on standardized testing.

DOE is accepting applications for its review committee. The department says the committee will have its first meeting in March.

5:19 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Big Bend High Schools Hold Steady Under New Grading Rules

The Florida Department of Education has rolled out the last batch of school grades it will issue under the outgoing Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

For the most part, Leon County’s high school grades remained unchanged from last year, despite a harder grading scale. Lincoln High IS one of 55 high schools statewide to improve its letter grade, earning an “A”. That comes as the overall number of A-rated combination and high schools dropped. But Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart insists that’s a sign of progress.

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6:16 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Bill To Close Presidential Searches Refiled For 2015 Legislative Session

Most of the recruiting for university presidents would be done behind closed doors if a Central Florida lawmaker has his way.

The move to bring presidential searches at public colleges and universities behind closed doors comes a few months after the naming of Florida State University President John Thrasher raised a storm of protest.

Supporters say Florida’s aggressive public records laws scare away applicants who don’t want their bosses to know they’re looking elsewhere. But open government advocates argue that it hasn’t been a problem with previous searches.

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5:20 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Feds End Probe Into Bright Futures Scholarship Program

Credit Monash University /

Florida’s scholarship program for high-achieving students can shine a little brighter now that the cloud of a federal probe has passed.

For the past few years, the state has been scaling back the number of students getting Bright Future’s Scholarships to go to college. It’s done that raising eligibility requirements based on GPA’s, SAT and ACT scores.

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6:46 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Can Animals Really Help Students Read? The Science Behind The Movement

Tristan Silcox and mom, Mindy Silcox.
Credit 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.

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