StateImpact

It’s a midweek school night at Miami Beach Senior High School.

Students, their parents and siblings -- roughly 80 people in all -- are waiting in the school’s library to get on a computer and answer a lot of questions.

Miami Beach Senior High college adviser Maria Sahwell and experienced counselors will walk families through filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

Ferris via Flickr

Florida is getting ready to go to court over the federal government’s school accountability standards. The Florida Legislature passed a law last spring that says the standardized test scores of English Language Learners – known as ELL’s - will count toward a school’s overall grade after two years of instruction. But federal law requires the test scores to count after just one year. Now, the Governor's Office is requesting a formal hearing into the matter. 

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Millions of U.S. students will log on to take a new generation of online tests less than a year from now.

The tests are tied to the new Common Core standards adopted by 44 states. But observers worry websites and networks might melt under a crush of students --just like the national health insurance website.

StateImpact Florida's John O’Connor tells us how Florida schools are making sure they’ll be ready.

Will New Florida Standards Leave Room For Creative Writing?

May 27, 2014
JACKIE MADER / THE HECHINGER REPORT

For the past few years, the new nationwide Common Core state standards have been slowly rolling out in Florida’s schools. Next year, all schools will fully implement the standards, which lay out what students are expected to learn in reading and math in kindergarten through twelfth grade. It’s led to big changes for teachers, many of whom are throwing out lesson plans and cherished writing assignments and learning new ways to teach the basics, like multiplication. The Hechinger Report’s Jackie Mader visited one rural panhandle elementary school to see how the standards are changing writing instruction. You can hear her report below.

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It makes sense that Florida's new K-12 math and language arts standards based on Common Core will mean changes for those classes. But science, social studies – even gym classes – will also change when every grade starts using the standards this fall.

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