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It official! The State Board of Education has approved the implementation the new B.E.S.T. State Student Standards 


By: Ezzy Castro   February 12, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Common Core has been officially removed from classrooms in Florida. On Wednesday, The Board of Education approved new standards for English Language Arts and math called Florida’s Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking.




Have input on Florida’s school standards? Better be quick.

The State Board of Education is scheduled to consider adoption on Feb. 12, while a related testing bill hits the House today.
From Tampa Bay Times
By Jeffrey S. Solochek on February 4, 2020

Angling to stick to a set time frame, the Florida Board of Education has scheduled Feb. 12 as the date it intends to consider adoption of the state’s proposed new academic standards.

That’s just two weeks after the Department of Education unveiled the detailed documents, which number 216 pages for math and 220 pages for language arts, and just three weeks after Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled the overview to eliminating Common Core with the message “mission accomplished.”

Bills to implement some of the governor’s related testing recommendations also are moving ahead. One is up for consideration in its first House committee this morning.





Here's what US schools are doing in response to the coronavirus

By Sunny Kim on February 3, 2020

Some schools across the country have canceled student trips and exchange programs to China as the coronavirus spreads.

Others are asking students who have traveled to the region not to attend classes.

As concerns over the coronavirus mount, some U.S. school districts have canceled Chinese student exchange programs to alleviate fears in the community. Since the first outbreak of the new virus reported in Wuhan, China, in late December, the virus has spread both locally and overseas,sickening about 17,400 people across the globe and killing at least 362. There have been 11 cases in the United States so far.



Great Expectations: The Impact of Rigorous Grading Practices on Student Achievement

Re-posted from an online column posted by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and dated February 4, 2020.

By Seth Gershenson

We know from previous survey research that teachers who hold high expectations for all of their students significantly increase the odds that those young people will go on to complete high school and college. One indicator of teachers’ expectations is their approach to grading—specifically, whether they subject students to more or less rigorous grading practices. Unfortunately, “grade inflation” is pervasive in U.S. high schools, as evidenced by rising GPAs even as SAT scores and other measures of academic performance have held stable or fallen. The result is that a “good” grade is no longer a clear marker of knowledge and skills.

Authored by American University’s Seth Gershenson, Great Expectations: The Impact of Rigorous Grading Practices on Student Achievement examines to what extent teachers’ grading standards affect student success. Specifically, this report investigates the following questions:

  1. How do the grading standards of an Algebra I teacher affect content mastery, as measured by student performance on the end-of-course Algebra I exam?  
  2. Do the grading standards of an Algebra I teacher impact students’ longer-term performance in subsequent math courses like geometry and Algebra II, and their likelihood of graduating from high school?  
  3. Does the impact of an Algebra I teacher’s grading standards vary by student, school, or teacher characteristics? Likewise, what school and teacher characteristics predict teachers’ grading standards?

To address these questions, Gershenson analyzed administrative data for all eighth and ninth grade Algebra I students in North Carolina’s public schools from 2006 to 2016.

The analysis yielded six major findings. Among them: Students of all racial/ethnic groups learn more from teachers with high grading standards, and these standards tend to be higher in schools serving more advantaged students. Moreover, the impact of rigorous grading practices can improve student performance in subsequent math classes up to two years later.

Seth Gershenson is associate professor of public affairs at American University, research fellow at the Institute of Labor Economics, and technical advisor to the Institute for Education Policy at Johns Hopkins. Professor Gershenson works broadly in the economics of education, with specific interests in teacher labor markets, summer learning loss, student absences, community shocks, educational expectations, and the causes.



Casey DeSantis announces new education initiatives in Tallahassee

From FLAPOL   

By Sarah Mueller on January 24, 2020

Public school students across the state could soon begin using digital apps to help learn to read and do Math.

Education technology company Age of Learning is offering to let school districts use two of their digital apps from its online learning program, one for reading and one for Math, for free, as part of a pilot program for pre-k through 2nd graders.

First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the pilot program Friday morning at the Leon County Public Library. She said the Mastering Math app is designed to teach children to recognize numbers and to start learning addition and subtraction. The Mastering Reading app helps kids learn to read on their own.

“What I really love about this technology is that it provides students the ability to learn how to read even if unfortunately they do not have the help of an adult,” she said. “It is something that is self-guided.”

Age of Learning CEO Paul Candland said the company is well known for their ABCmouse products, but what they’re bringing to Florida is the next generation.


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