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Florida Department of Education

Florida Chamber Foundation launches ‘My Career’ website tool

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Drawing on state data on what jobs are out there and what they pay, and what college and career school programs cost, the Florida Chamber Foundation is launching a new website aimed at helping people understand where the money is and what it will cost.

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Senate Education Committee talks testing tweaks

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The Florida Senate Education Committee dedicated most of its weekly meeting to tackling issues of assessment bloat running counter to students’ best interests. In the House, the motto has been “fewer, better tests.” Similarly, in the Senate, the bills that have spurred the most comment from committee members are those that address Florida’s testing protocols. At the meeting, representatives from the Florida Department of Education discussed current education accountability standards. Mary Jane Tappen, vice chancellor of K-12 education, laid out the high…

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Florida needs teachers, but high schoolers aren’t interested

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As Florida legislators consider ways to get more high-achieving charter schools into the state, school districts have another concern: getting more teachers into the state. The national teacher shortage is hitting Florida hard. Hillsborough County alone could use another 500 teachers. Advocacy group Teachers of Tomorrow identifies Florida as one of the top five states struggling to find educators, with a 5,708 teacher shortfall. The Florida Department of Education’s 2016-17 report on what subjects are in greatest need of more…

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Hurdles to school choice remain despite Florida’s open enrollment law

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Florida’s new open enrollment policies are still leaving students behind. Florida has one of the most robust school choice programs nationwide, with 45 percent of pre-K-12 students in the state having exercised some type of choice option in the 2015-16 school year. A new law seems poised to amplify that even more. HB 7029, signed by Gov. Rick Scott in 2016, will be effective for the 2017-18 school year. Under HB 7029, public schools are required to allow students to transfer in…

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Universities, colleges paint depressing picture of dealing with 10 percent cuts

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Asked to prepare for 10 percent budget cuts, Florida’s state university and college leaders pledged to try to avoid affecting students but told the House Subcommittee on Higher Education Appropriations Friday the impacts would still be profound. “The target reductions are set at 10 percent for each entity,” Subcommittee Chairman Larry Ahern said after spelling out the challenges faced by the larger House Appropriations Committee of possible 10 percent budget cuts this year to deal with a $1.7 billion shortfall.…

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Personnel note: Florida Ports Council names Niki McKinnell as Public Affairs VP

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The Florida Ports Council named Niki McKinnell as Vice President of Public Affairs. McKinnell replaces Jennifer Krell Davis who has accepted a position as Deputy Director of the Office of Public Information at The Florida Bar. McKinnell brings more than a decade of communications and public affairs experience to the Florida Ports Council. She comes from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), where she managed marketing programs and grants to increase driver safety on Florida’s roadways.…

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Florida’s top teachers found at affluent schools

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New bonus payments aimed at attracting and keeping good teachers in Florida have gone disproportionately to those who work with students from affluent families, an analysis by a Florida newspaper has found. Teachers who received bonuses under the $44 million “best and brightest” teacher scholarship program started last year were more than twice as likely to work with students from affluent families than with students living in poverty, the Orlando Sentinel reported Sunday. The report highlights how the bonuses have…

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