Education

Banned books

Report: FL ranked No. 2 in challenges and bans of school library books last year

BY: - September 22, 2022

Three Florida school districts drew nearly 400 book bans or challenges between them during the 2021-22 school year, according data from a nationwide free-speech advocacy group. According to PEN America’s “Index of School Book Bans,” gathering data between July 1, 2021 and June 30 this year, the Duval County school district in Northeast Florida saw […]

In the shadows of poverty: FL’s persistently low-performing schools often go unnoticed by DeSantis

BY: - September 21, 2022

On his reelection campaign trail, Gov. Ron DeSantis touts Florida’s public education system, boasting about higher starting teacher salaries, restricting certain conversations on race and gender in classrooms and siding with parents instead of local districts in disagreements. What’s rarely discussed is a sad reality involving poverty and race in the state’s most troubled schools. […]

An ‘unprecedented flood’ of book bans engulfs U.S. school districts, PEN report says

BY: - September 19, 2022

WASHINGTON — More than 1,600 book titles across 32 states were banned from public schools during the 2021-2022 school year, with the bulk of the ban requests coming from a handful of right-wing groups pushing for censorship of books that feature LGBTQ+ characters and characters of color, a new report issued Monday said. “What I […]

FL LGBTQ+ advocates announce they back Democrat Charlie Crist for governor

BY: - September 14, 2022

Florida LGBTQ+ civil rights advocacy groups plan to rally voters for this year’s gubernatorial election  and they’re backing former U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist to unseat Gov. Ron DeSantis. “Ron DeSantis, your war on LGBTQ Floridians ends in 2022,” said Joe Saunders, a former Florida House member. Saunders, senior political director the the statewide LGBTQ+ advocacy […]

FL education officials scrutinize field trips, LGBTQ+ policies that protect transgender students

BY: - September 14, 2022

School districts will have to notify parents if students rooming together during overnight field trips will be separated according to the sex assigned to them at birth under a new state rule, raising alarm bells for LGBTQ+ advocates worried about transgender students. At issue are concerns about district access to a student’s private information regarding […]

DeSantis’ campaign ad touts that he let kids ‘go to school’; omits when he closed schools for COVID

BY: - September 13, 2022

In the early stage of the then-novel COVID-pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration made an urgent decision at a fearful time: He ordered public schools across the state to shut down — first for an extended spring break in March 2020 and then for the rest of the school year. But viewers watching DeSantis’ […]

U.S. education secretary urges boost in teacher pay, touts college debt relief

BY: - September 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — Amid K-12 teacher shortages, book bans, and attacks over critical race theory, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona at a meeting with reporters on Wednesday stressed the need for higher salaries to attract prospective educators to the profession. Cardona also touted the Biden administration’s student debt relief announcement in late August. The White House […]

Nationwide reading score trends among 9-year-olds were set back decades amid COVID pandemic

BY: - September 7, 2022

A nationwide assessment of elementary school kids indicates that 9-year-olds have been having a harder time reading since the onset the COVID-19 pandemic, which has helped undo years of progress in developing reading skills. The average scale score for reading skills in 2022 was 215, down five points from 220 in 2020. Findings are from […]

COMMENTARY

Labor Day message: United, we can improve Florida for all

BY: , , and - September 5, 2022

One of the many ways that the COVID pandemic is continuing to play out is by workers realizing the power they have when they join together to demand fair pay, benefits, and working conditions. Recent polling shows that more than two-thirds of all Americans approve of labor unions; this marks the highest approval rating since […]

Nationwide exam for 9-year-olds in math shows hefty drop in scores amid COVID pandemic

BY: - September 2, 2022

A nationwide assessment for 9-year-olds in math for the first time showed a significant drop in scores compared to the progress from the late 1970s to 2020. By 2022, as the COVID-19 pandemic swept into the nation’s schools, math performance plummeted. The average scale score in 2020 for 9-year-olds in a sampling of schools across […]

The last two Lt. Governors with education backgrounds were GOP; next could be a powerhouse Democrat

BY: - September 2, 2022

When Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist picked his running mate last weekend — educator and teacher union president Karla Hernández-Mats — it wasn’t going to be the usual lieutenant governor. The last two lieutenant governors with an education background were Republicans. This time, it could be a Democrat. In fact, Hernández-Mats could become the first […]

Just 37 percent of 6th to 12th graders in a government course passed FL’s new civics literacy exam

BY: - August 31, 2022

The state has issued a new Florida Civic Literacy Examination to assess how well public school students understand what’s called “civic literacy.” Kids in a U.S. government course are required to take the new exam that covers everything from landmark Supreme Court cases to influential documents in American history to basic principles about how government […]