News Slices:
Commissioner Blomberg Announces 2007 FCAT Writing Scores
Commissioner Blomberg Announces 2007 FCAT Scores For Third and 12th Grade Math & Reading
St. Petersburg College Earns Initial Accreditation for Four-Year Nursing Degree

Seeds of Success:
Broward County School Color Guard Wins Gold Medal
Immokalee BETA Club Members Win First Place Honors
Seminole County Students Win Awards of Excellence

Branching Out:
DOE/FLAG Workshop for Teachers New to Gifted Education
Middle School Career and Academic Advisement Workshops

 


May 4, 2007
Vol. 1, Issue 8

News Slices

Commissioner Blomberg Announces 2007 FCAT Writing Scores
Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg recently announced results of the 2007 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) Writing+ taken by students in grades 4, 8 and 10. These results reflect an increase in the percent of students who scored 3.5 (on a scale of one to six) or higher on the essay portion of the test at all grade levels.

For the first time ever, FCAT Writing+ scores are being reported in terms of five achievement levels as adopted by the State Board of Education in January. The achievement levels are based on the total FCAT writing score, which combines multiple-choice questions and the essay.

Students who are in ninth grade this school year (2006-07) will be required to earn a passing score of 300 or higher on the FCAT Writing+ in order to graduate from high school. Although this requirement does not affect this year’s tenth graders, 49 percent of them met this passing standard.

To view school, district and state FCAT reports, visit http://fcat.fldoe.org. You may also view more information at www.fldoe.org.


Commissioner Blomberg Announces 2007 FCAT Scores For Third and 12th Grade Math & Reading
Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg recently announced the third and 12th grade results for the mathematics and reading portions of the 2007 FCAT. Florida’s third graders made academic gains in mathematics, with 74 percent of students demonstrating mathematics skills at or above grade level, a two percentage-point gain over the previous year. This improvement shows a long-term mathematics skills gain of 22 percentage points since 2001.

Florida has also experienced long-term reading progress. Since 2001, the percentage of third graders reading at or above grade level has grown 12 percentage points. However, the percentage of third graders reading at or above grade level this year declined from 75 percent in 2006 to 69 percent this year.

“We are encouraged that the percentage of third graders reading at or above grade level this year was higher than in 2005. Further, we are pleased to see that when you compare student performance from 2001 to today, Florida is maintaining a positive trend upward,” said Commissioner Blomberg. “When data are tracked over time, some fluctuation in performance from year to year is expected. Nothing has changed in the test, and an analysis of test results from 2004 through 2007 has demonstrated the scores of last year’s third graders were unusually high.”

For full details on the FCAT scores, visit http://fcat.fldoe.org or www.fldoe.org.


Teacher Appreciation Week
The Florida Department of Education will celebrate and honor teachers throughout Florida during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6-12, 2007. Various activities are scheduled from Miami to the Panhandle, recognizing the more than 180,000 teachers in Florida. The Department has compiled a list of special promotions and discounts being offered as a special “thank you” to teachers in the state. For events and news happening in your area for Teacher Appreciation Week, visit the Just For Teachers Web site at http://fldoe.org/JustForTeachers.


Department of Education Warns Parents of Imposter FCAT Parent Network Web Site
The Florida Department of Education recently alerted parents and school districts to the existence of at least one imposter Web site designed to appear as if it were the Department’s official FCAT Parent Network, an online resource enabling parents to view their student’s Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) scores. Known as imposter domains, these Web sites attempt to capitalize on Web address misspellings for commercial purposes. Imposter domains typically use slight variations of official Web site addresses to redirect unsuspecting visitors to sites with advertisements and paid links. To access student FCAT results, parents should log on to www.fcatparentnetwork.com using the login and password provided by their school. This secure site also includes detailed information on the meaning of the scores and provides resources to improve student performance in the future.


St. Petersburg College Earns Initial Accreditation for Four-Year Nursing Degree
St. Petersburg College (SPC) has been awarded full initial accreditation for five years by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). SPC’s May graduates will be the first group to receive degrees with this accreditation. St. Petersburg College is the first community college in the nation to offer four-year degrees, and to have received accreditation from CCNE, which has in the past only accredited four-year programs.

SPC has had a strong Associate in Science nursing program for more than 50 years culminating in an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). The ADN program has held accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) since 1970. In 2002, St. Petersburg College began offering the Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and was accredited by NLNAC in 2004.

CCNE and NLNAC are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the national accrediting bodies for all types of nursing education programs. SPC’s RN to BSN program has approximately 330 enrolled students and there have been 184 graduates to date.


Seeds of Success

Conney Dahn With President George Bush




Broward County School Color Guard Wins Gold Medal
The J.P. Taravella High School color guard in Broward County earned the Scholastic Class A Gold Medal at the annual Winter Guard International (WGI) World Championships, held recently in Dayton, Ohio. The 15-member team received the honor for their presentation of a "Soldier's Silent Night." For the full story, visit http://fldoe.org/successstories/2007/04-19.asp.


Teacher Earns National Environmental Educator Honors
South Plantation High School teacher Allan Phipps was recently recognized as the SeaWorld/Busch Gardens/Fujifilm National Environmental Educator of the Year. The award recognizes the outstanding efforts of students and teachers across the country who are working at the grassroots level to protect and preserve the environment. For more on the story, visit http://fldoe.org/successstories/2007/04-19-2.asp.


Immokalee BETA Club Members Win First Place Honors
Eighty-two Immokalee High School (IHS) BETA Club members recently won first place honors at the 65th Annual State of Florida BETA Club Convention held in Orlando. Immokalee finished first in Banner, Booth, Campaign Skit and Scrapbook competitions. The students also walked away with the first place prize in their talent performance. The Immokalee BETA Club will now represent Florida at the 27th Annual National BETA Convention to be held June 20-23 in Nashville. See the story at http://fldoe.org/successstories/2007/04-17.asp.


2007 Presidential Scholars Program Announces Florida Semifinalists
The United States Presidential Scholars Program recently announced the semifinalists for the 2007 award program. Eleven Florida seniors were chosen on the basis of their accomplishments in such areas as academics, artistic success, leadership, and involvement in school and community. The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors. Annually, up to 141 students are chosen among outstanding seniors to become Presidential Scholars. To see the semifinalists in Florida, visit http://fldoe.org/successstories/2007/04-17-2.asp.


Seminole County Students Win Awards of Excellence
Six Seminole County students recently received Awards of Excellence from the National PTA Reflections Program. The program offers students the opportunity to create works of art for fun and recognition in areas such as literature, musical composition, photography and the visual arts. The students were named Best in the State in their age division and art category, and will represent Florida at the national level of the competition. Winners received a letter of recognition, an award certificate and a Reflections medal. To see the winners, visit http://fldoe.org/successstories/2007/04-16.asp.


Branching Out

DOE/FLAG Workshop for Teachers New to Gifted Education
The Department of Education (DOE) will offer the DOE/FLAG Workshop for Teachers New to Gifted Education on June 25, 2007, in Miami, Fla. The workshop will provide information about differentiating instruction strategies for gifted students; information about addressing underrepresented populations in gifted; tips for working with students at different grade levels; and opportunities for networking and mentoring with veteran gifted teachers. There is no registration fee; however, all travel expenses are the responsibility of the individual participant or school district. To register, go to http://info.fldoe.org/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-4364/k12-07-66att.pdf.


Middle School Career and Academic Advisement Workshops
The Department of Education will offer regional Middle School Career and Academic Advisement Workshops this summer. Students who entered the sixth grade in 2006 must enroll in a semester-long course in career and education planning to be completed in the seventh or eighth grade. Workshops are being offered for those schools/districts that will teach this course beginning the fall of 2007. The workshops are designed to give instructors and others involved in teaching this course a background in career development, Florida CHOICES, FACTS.org, labor market information, and employability skills. Each workshop will be limited to 100 participants. Districts are encouraged to send teams that will be responsible for training others in their district. The online registration is available at http://data.fldoe.org/register/wf-flchoices/default.cfm. For more information, please contact Zelda Rogers at 800-342-9271, or via e-mail at Zelda.Rogers@fldoe.org.

 

 
 
 
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