News Slices:
State Board of Education Chooses Applicants To Interview For the Commissioner of Education Position
Commissioner Blomberg Announces Results of 2007 School Grades Appeals
Department of Education Launches New Teacher Misconduct Web Site
2007 Marked the Largest Ever Increase In Florida High School Graduates Taking the ACT
Florida Missing Children’s Day
VPK Provider Kindergarten Readiness Rate Rule Workshops

Seeds of Success:
Broward County Teacher Wins Outstanding Young Educator Award
Polk Community College’s Educator Preparation Institute Includes ESOL Training

Branching Out:
8th Annual Meeting of Schools and Medicaid: A Dynamic Partnership

13th School Attendance Symposium: Linking Attendance to Positive Engagement


 


August 24, 2007

Vol. 1, Issue 16

News Slices

State Board of Education Chooses Applicants To Interview For the Commissioner of Education Position
The State Board of Education (SBE) voted unanimously on Tuesday, Aug. 14, to accept seven applicants from a pool of 24 to be interviewed for the Florida Commissioner of Education position. Each of the seven interview candidates was recommended to the SBE by PROACT Search, Inc., after a comprehensive screening process determined that they met board-established position profile/criteria. The interview candidates selected by the SBE are as follows: Dr. William Harner, Dr. Earl Lennard, Dr. Joseph Marinelli, Dr. William Moloney, Dr. Eric Smith, Mr. James Warford and Dr. Cheri Pierson Yecke. For continuing updates on this process, visit www.proactsearchinc.com/florida


Commissioner Blomberg Announces Results of 2007 School Grades Appeals
Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg recently announced the results of the 2007 school grades and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) appeals. Each year, school districts may submit appeals to the Department of Education (DOE) for school grades and AYP designations required by the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. This year, districts submitted appeals on behalf of 42 schools, including 15 school grade appeals, 14 AYP appeals and 13 for both school grades and AYP, up from 33 appeals last year, but down from 49 appeals the previous year.

"The school grades appeals process is an important tool in Florida’s education accountability system,” said Commissioner Blomberg. “It helps ensure that our schools are receiving the most accurate grade possible and that special circumstances are given a process for consideration.”

For the full story, visit www.fldoe.org.


Department of Education Launches New Teacher Misconduct Web Site
The Florida Department of Education launched a new Web site that enables the general public to check if disciplinary action has been taken against a Florida educator’s certificate. Using an online database, visitors to the site are able to obtain information on teacher misconduct cases brought to the state level. Currently, the available information includes action dates, complaint summaries and descriptions of final outcomes, including any penalties that may have been applied to an educator's certificate. Similar to other licensed professionals such as physicians, accountants and pharmacists, Florida educators are subject to action against their certificate for substantiated misconduct. Visit the site at www.myfloridateacher.com.


2007 Marked the Largest Ever Increase In Florida High School Graduates Taking the ACT
Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg recently announced Florida’s largest ever increase in both the number and percentage of high school graduates who took the American College Test (ACT). This year, 81,527 of Florida's 2007 high school graduates took the ACT, an increase of 23 percent (15,228 graduates) over 2006. Nationwide, the number of ACT-tested graduates increased only 8 percent.

In addition to the record number of graduates who took the ACT, Florida saw a large increase in the percentage of students who took the ACT as compared to last year. Of Florida’s 153,100 high school graduates, 53 percent took the ACT in Florida compared to 45 percent (147,700 graduates) the prior year and 42 percent nationally. The ACT is one of two college entrance tests Florida students can choose to take. For the full story, visit www.fldoe.org/news/2007/2007_08_15.asp.


Florida Missing Children’s Day
Governor Charlie Crist and America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh will recognize law enforcement officers, citizens and canine trailing teams from around the state for their efforts in missing children investigations and honor Florida’s missing children on Monday, September 10 during the 2007 Florida Missing Children’s Day. The Florida Knowledge Network and the Florida Channel will broadcast the ceremony from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. ET. Schools can contact their district ITV coordinators or PBS Affiliate for technical information on how to view this program. For further viewing information, visit www.FloridaKnowledgeNetwork.org.


VPK Provider Kindergarten Readiness Rate Rule Workshops
The Florida Department of Education Office of Early Learning will conduct seven workshops throughout the state in September to obtain input on the methodology for calculating the 2006-07 Voluntary Prekindergarten Provider (VPK) Kindergarten Readiness Rate. These rates are calculated based upon the performance of VPK “graduates” on the state’s kindergarten screening instrument. The state’s first Readiness Rates were released in June 2007 (for more information, go to www.fldoe.org/news/2007/2007_06_19.asp). To see dates for upcoming workshops, go to http://info.fldoe.org/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-4566/07-25att.pdf.


Seeds of Success


Broward County Teacher Wins Outstanding Young Educator Award
Scott Gurdak, a media specialist from Bethune Elementary in Broward County, was recently honored for his dedication to children and outstanding work in his community by the Florida Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees). The Jaycees recognized Gurdak with the Outstanding Young Educator Award, which acknowledges outstanding service providers between the ages of 18-40 in the community.


Schools Named For Outstanding Community Involvement
The Florida Department of Education has named 820 Florida schools “Five Star Schools.” This prestigious recognition is bestowed upon schools for their outstanding community involvement efforts.

To qualify for this award, schools must achieve 100 percent of the DOE's required criteria in the categories of family involvement, business partnerships, volunteers, student community service, and School Advisory Councils. As part of the application process, schools were required to compile and submit portfolios documenting and quantifying community service work and activities accomplished during the 2006-2007 school year.

The Five Star School Award was established in 1995 to recognize the contributions made by community involvement in student success. For more details, visit www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2007/08-06.asp.


Polk Community College’s Educator Preparation Institute Includes ESOL Training
Florida continues to have a growing need for quality teachers. Florida's Educator Preparation Institutes (EPI) are designed to help bachelor-degree holders in other fields become certified to teach.

Polk Community College's (PCC) EPI is placing English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) certified instructors in each of the seven course segments to qualify instructors to teach, model, instruct and assess diverse populations. By incorporating ESOL content into their EPI curriculum, students attending PCC are now eligible for 120 ESOL in-service points. Through this partnership with Polk County Public Schools, PCC aims to produce qualified K-12 teachers who can remove language barriers so students can achieve.


Branching Out


8th Annual Meeting of Schools and Medicaid: A Dynamic Partnership
Oct. 17-19, 2007
Lake Buena Vista Resort, Orlando, Fla.

The 8th Annual Meeting of Schools and Medicaid: A Dynamic Partnership will be held at the Embassy Suites-Lake Buena Vista Resort, 8100 Lake Avenue, Orlando, Fla., Oct. 17-19. This meeting is designed for school district personnel who are actively involved or interested in the implementation and administration of the Medicaid program in schools. The program will present information related specifically to the Florida Medicaid certified school match fee-for-service and administrative claiming programs.

The meeting will provide participants the opportunity to learn valuable information, identify issues for resolution, and share ideas related to the coordination of schools and Medicaid services. Meeting attendance is limited to school district personnel (ESE Directors, Student Services Directors, Medicaid Contacts, and Finance Officers), Agency for Health Care Administration headquarters staff and area school services representatives, and Department of Education staff. For more information, visit http://ssn.usf.edu/medicaid/conference_oct2007/default.htm.


13th School Attendance Symposium: Linking Attendance to Positive Engagement
Oct. 29-30, 2007
Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Sponsored by the Florida Department of Education, the Student Support Services Project, and the Florida Association of School Social Workers, the 13th School Attendance Symposium provides a statewide forum for sharing and promoting proven practices that positively impact school attendance and student achievement. The program agenda will also include information updates on state and federal requirements that impact school attendance policy, and district implementation. For more information, visit http://sss.usf.edu/AttendanceSymposium/2007/index.html.


 
 
 
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