Florida Department of Education

Discipline of minority schoolchildren in FL and elsewhere can be discriminatory and disturbing

BY: - July 30, 2021

In the fall of 2019, a little Black girl named Kaia Rolle was arrested at her Orlando school, allegedly for throwing a tantrum.  A police officer zip-tied her hands behind her back and placed her in the back of a police car for kicking a school staffer. Rolle was just 6 at the time, and […]

5th grade public school teacher Sarah Painter is 2022 Teacher of the Year following tough COVID-19 school year

BY: - July 26, 2021

“Find Joy.” That was the motto for 5th grade teacher Sarah Ann Painter and her students at Clearwater’s Eisenhower Elementary in Pinellas County, to help everyone get through a troublesome school year during the COVID-19 pandemic. She recalled that story in her acceptance speech at an Orlando gala announcing the 2022 Florida Teacher of the […]

The feds earmarked $15 billion for FL schools to help kids in the pandemic, but it’s largely an unused stockpile

BY: - July 26, 2021

By the spring of 2020, reality was setting in that the COVID-19 pandemic would stick around for quite some time, and Florida’s school districts were confronting an unknown education world. Districts started talks about the next school year, considering mask mandates, staggered classroom schedules and other measures to bring struggling students up to par — […]

Florida needs more science teachers: Education agency shows shortfalls in three major science subjects

BY: - July 13, 2021

School districts may struggle to find science teachers in the upcoming year, a Department of Education report shows. Three different science fields for K-12 education have been identified as areas of “critical teacher shortage” for the 2021-22 school year, the report says. That means Florida is in critical need of general science teachers, physical science […]


Why is FL DOE behind on getting billions of federal dollars to schools recovering from COVID pandemic?

BY: - July 8, 2021

Florida education officials are at least a month behind in getting a state plan, worth billions, to the U.S. Department of Education to help Florida schools recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Already, 40 states have submitted their plans and Florida is still not one of them. And more federal funding for Florida is now on […]

How a drop in test takers during COVID could impact statewide 3rd grade reading scores in districts

BY: - June 29, 2021

In a tough testing season during the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands fewer 3rd graders took a crucial statewide reading exam compared to prior years. In fact, the number of test takers in public schools dropped by 18,398 kids in 67 districts, compared to 3rd graders who took the state reading exam in 2019. That’s a decline […]

Confusion over civics: What’s in the new civics literacy exam? What happens if students don’t pass?

BY: - June 24, 2021

Back in December of 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis directed Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to establish a civics exam based on the citizenship test given to people who want to become naturalized U.S. citizens, with all Florida high school seniors required to take the test. But a year and a half later it’s not clear what […]

Crucial third grade reading scores dropped while schools and districts struggled in the pandemic

BY: - June 23, 2021

On the Gulf Coast in North Florida, Sharon Hathcock, the director of instruction for Taylor County schools, saw some troubling numbers. Her kids’ third grade reading scores from state exams had plummeted during the COVID pandemic. Only 39 percent of 3rd graders met the target for passing the state test in the spring of 2021, […]

Where the lines are drawn: New state rule could threaten FL teachers’ academic freedom in history, civics

BY: - June 21, 2021

Nowadays, 7th grade civics teacher Robin Porter is not sure where the lines are drawn when it comes to teaching the past and the present. What is forbidden and what isn’t? Academic freedom has been a cornerstone in Florida classrooms, but a new rule imposed recently by the State Board of Education limits what materials […]

FL education agency did not record video or audio of public comments criticizing proposed civics standards

BY: - June 2, 2021

The first stop on the Florida Department of Education’s “listening tour” on civics education standards had no official audio or video, which means residents across the state couldn’t listen in to crucial discussions, comments and feedback unless they were there, in Miami. The first of three listening tours took place on Tuesday at Miami Jackson […]


Besides civics, Holocaust and character standards for K-12 students are also up for public comments

BY: - June 1, 2021

While Florida’s proposed civics standards are garnering media attention — particularly over leaving out the word slavery — other new standards, such as the Holocaust and so-called “character education,” are under consideration too. The proposed standards and others will be part of a “listening tour” in June, with the Department of Education presenting information and […]

Proposed civics standards for FL schools don’t mention the word slavery

BY: - May 28, 2021

Following the George Floyd murder and the national discussion over “critical race theory” — which encompasses slavery, segregation and institutionalized racism — Florida’s proposed civics standards for school don’t mention the word slavery. What is mentioned is the famous phrase: “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That’s noted as “God-given rights expressed in the […]