Florida Department of Education

Florida Department of Educationn's website

Florida education officials have kicked off Florida Family Engagement in Education Month. It highlights the importance of parent involvement in their child’s education.

MGN Online

Florida’s Education Commissioner is calling a local elementary school a “trailblazer” for trying to develop healthy eating habits among its students.

The Humane Society of Bay County's facebook page

It’s Disability Employment Awareness Month, and a Bay County business is one of ten recognized across the state for hiring people with disabilities.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / flickr.com/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

School districts across the country are struggling to keep qualified teachers in the classroom. Here's a look into what the shortage means for Leon County.


How did children-related issues fare during this past legislative session? While some Florida agency heads say it was a good one, others call it a mixed bag.

Ashley Tressel

Florida schools received 2015 grades Friday. Education officials are calling the results a “new baseline.” 

Leon County Superintendent Jackie Pons says he wants a student resource officer in every school.  The idea is up for consideration in the Florida Legislature.

This spring’s Florida Standards Assessment was plagued by technical glitches and some questions didn’t align with state standards. Florida’s accountability system uses the test results to determine school grades, teacher pay and student promotions but educators say it’s time to re-evaluate.

Florida lawmakers will meet later this month to go over a report that is raising more questions than answers about the state’s new standardized test. Educators aren’t convinced by a study finding the Florida Standards Assessment Valid.

Report Card
chrstphre campbell / flickr.com

The Florida Department of Education says some of the state’s mandated end-of-course exams won’t count toward a student’s final grade this year. The move addresses part of a new law that calls for a review of state exams.

Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart talks testing, glitches before a Senate Education Committee.
The Florida Channel / The Florida Channel

State Education Commissioner Pam Stewart says nearly a quarter of students slated to take the state’s new online writing exam have completed it. Stewart says she’s confident the test will be done on time.


The Florida Department of Education says students can’t opt-out of taking state-mandated exams. The Department sent a letter to key education lawmakers, reiterating that there is no opt-out provision in state law.


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.


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.

University of North Florida / unf.edu

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.


Florida is the first state to adopt standards for teaching kids about personal finance based on the National Standards for Financial Literacy. But the move leaves some educators grappling with how to implement the new standards.

Ann Whitney, Director of Standards at the Bureau of Standards and Instructional Support, says educators and state leaders nationwide are pushing for better personal finance education in public schools.


The Florida Department of Education announced Monday that Florida students scored higher on the 2014 end-of-course assessments, or EOCs, than they did last year.  

The test results show first-time test-takers in grades six through 12 improved across the board on four of five EOCs offered by the state. The percentage of passing students increased by 1 point for Algebra I and geometry and 2 points for Biology I. The fifth exam, middle school civics, was administered for the first time this year.


The Florida Department of Education released the last batch of 2014 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test results today. The FCAT Math, Reading, and Science scores show just over half of Florida students passed the test, though there was overall statewide improvement.

LHatter / WFSU News

The final results of student performance on the outgoing Florida Comprehensive Assessment test have started trickling out and third graders are stuck when it comes to their reading performance. However, Leon County is one of a few districts bucking that trend.

This is the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test logo.
Florida Department of Education

Schools in Leon County are resuming online FCAT testing this week after students encountered log-in issues Tuesday. State Education Commissioner Pam Stewart says testing company Pearson is to blame.

Some of the students unable to complete their tests Tuesday resumed testing Wednesday with no reported difficulties. Leon County Schools spokesman Chris Petley says not all students in the district were affected by the mishap.

Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart says the American Institutes for Research or A-I-R will design the exams replacing Florida’s outgoing Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Getting lost  in the transition is the ability to compare Florida public school kids with their counterparts in other states. Still, Florida can at least look to Utah as it’s guide.


The American Institutes for Research has been named as Florida’s new testing vendor and will build and design the exams that replace the outgoing Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

The FCAT was initially supposed to be replaced by Common Core-aligned English and Math exams developed by a coalition of states. Those tests were called PARCC. But Florida officials began pulling back from both Common Core and its attached tests, leaving the state without an FCAT replacement. Monday, Florida got its answer from Education Commissioner Pam Stewart:

Florida Department of Management Services

In the next few years, Florida students will be taking more of their state exams online. Textbooks will be replaced by Macbooks, but the schools will largely remain the same, and many of those facilities aren’t equipped to handle the digital revolution that’s underway.

Florida has a goal: by the 2017-2018 school year, Florida districts will have a ratio of 100 megabits of download capacity per 1,000 students. According to Department of Management Services Director of Telecommunications Ed Peters, that’s what the state estimated it would need to support computer-based exams:

MGN Online

A bill aimed at making sure locked-up juveniles get the education tools they need is heading to the House floor, after it passed unanimously at its last committee stop in the House Education Committee Thursday.

Fernandina Beach Republican Representative Janet Adkins says on visits to Florida Department of Juvenile Justice detention facilities, she’s seen students many years behind where they should be academically.

LHatter / WFSU News

While Florida legislative leaders remain largely opposed to big changes in the state’s school accountability program, there is momentum for small changes: at least for students with the most severe disabilities.