Pepper Harth moved to Florida from New Jersey with three children, but had to leave her real estate career behind. Harth’s weekend gigs singing with a band weren’t enough after the recession hit.

“I have really just been a working single mom for a very long time," she says. "When I moved down to Florida, I never imagined how difficult job opportunities were going to be… I just got tired of having dead-end jobs and not making enough money…and it’s a tough economy and you really, you have to be competitive.”

Tony Bennett Selected As New Education Commissioner

Dec 13, 2012

Indiana Superintendent Tony Bennett will be Florida's next education commissioner. The Florida Board of Education unanimously selected Bennett, a protege of former Gov. Jeb Bush.

As Indiana's chief, Tony Bennett imported Florida education ideas to the Hoosier state.

Board of education members cite Bennett's familiarity with new Common Core standards as Florida transforms how schools teach and test students.

The State Board of Education is meeting in Tampa today [Wednesday] and is expected to choose a new education commissioner.

The board interviewed the three finalists for an hour each yesterday, but the board says Florida's next education commissioner will face skeptical teachers and parents.

College professors start with the basics in remedial math classes. Add, subtract. Multiply, divide. Later they get into pre-Algebra.

Students end up in remedial classes, like the one at Miami Dade College when they fail the college placement test. It's required for students who enroll in state or community colleges - not state universities.

In 2011, nearly 50% of the high school graduates who took the math test failed. Compare that to less than 33% who failed reading and writing. And failing the math test doesn't just mean you're not ready for college-level math.

Most Florida teachers earned positive reviews, according to new state teacher evaluations. The Florida Department of Education released data Thursday showing which teachers had the most "highly effective" teachers.

The Florida Department of Education says 97% of Florida teachers are rated satisfactory or better. That's according to new evaluations required by a 2011 state law. Teachers are judged based on student test scores and classroom visits.

More than 20% of teachers earned the highest rating of "Highly Effective." 75% earned "Effective" ratings.