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Press Release

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

To the Core Series Brings Tallahassee to the Teacher’s Lounge

~ New podcast series connects teachers with Florida’s education policy makers ~

TALLAHASSEE – The Department of Education today announced the launch of To the Core, a new podcast series hosted by Florida’s Teacher of the Year Megan Allen that provides an opportunity for teachers to hear about issues impacting their profession from Department leadership. The first four installments of To the Core include commentary from Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith, Bureau Chief of Evaluation and Reporting Juan Copa, and Office of Assessment Assistant Deputy Commissioner Kris Ellington on topics such as Race to the Top, high school grades and the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT).

“With iTunes U, the Department’s made major strides to connect with educators on a more regular basis and communicate messages that have the potential to impact their daily lessons,” said Commissioner Smith. “Through this new podcast series, we now have the ability to help educators understand the decisions behind education changes and provide answers to many of their most pressing questions from the policy makers themselves.”

This free resource is just one of many tools Florida has made available for educators on iTunes U. Another recently launched podcast includes Tech Tips, a series that provides quick tips for teachers to enhance classroom learning through technology.

“This is a great step toward tightening the connection between Tallahassee and the teacher's lounge and letting teachers meet the people working for them at the Florida Department of Education,” said Allen. “Florida's amazing educators will get further insight on the subjects affecting their classrooms and students, such as Race to the Top, changes to the FCAT, and high school grading, but now they'll be getting the information first hand. Doing the series has really helped clarify questions that I had as a classroom teacher and I can't wait to share the knowledge with my colleagues.”

The To the Core podcast will be housed on iTunes U, which provides free multimedia content to schools, parents, students, administrators and teachers both in Florida and around the world. As part of iTunes U, an area of the iTunes Store offering free education content, Florida’s made available audio, video and text files that are designed to enhance when and where individuals learn. For more information about iTunes U, visit

To download the To the Core podcast, visit