February 15, 2008
Vol. 2, Issue 4
Florida Leads the Nation in AP Student Performance
According to a national report issued by the College Board, more than one-fifth of Florida's 2007 public high school graduates passed an Advanced Placement (AP) exam, ranking Florida fourth in the nation. In addition, Florida once again had the second greatest increase in the total number of public school students earning a passing score (3 or above) on an AP exam when compared to all other states from 2006 to 2007.
According to the College Board, Florida has been recognized
- A record number of students taking AP exams in high school and nearly double the number of students taking AP exams five years ago.
- Increasing the overall number of students taking AP exams by more than 9 percent over the previous year.
- Increasing the number of African-American and Hispanic students taking AP exams over the previous year (15.6 and 10.7 percent increases respectively).
- The greatest number of African-American and Hispanic students passing AP exams when compared to all other states.
- Eliminating the achievement gap for Hispanic students - the percentage of Florida Hispanic students passing AP exams in 2007 is greater than the percentage of Hispanic students in that graduating class.
For more information on both the student essay and educator
award contests, visit http://www.fldoe.org/evaluation/.
State Board of Education to Hear Public Comment
Up to one hour of the February 19 State Board of Education meeting in Tallahassee will be reserved for public input on the proposed science standards. Speakers will be allotted three minutes each and will need to sign-up to speak on a first-come, first-serve basis. It is anticipated that testimony will be heard from a maximum of 10 speakers in support of the standards as written and 10 speakers in support of the standards with changes.
Those interested in providing testimony should arrive at the Cabinet Meeting room in the state capitol at 8 a.m. to complete a speaker card. Speaker cards will be available in the lobby outside the Cabinet Meeting room.
For more information, visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2008/2008_02_14.asp..
Top Educators Recognized by Lt. Governor
Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp and Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith honored the Florida Department of Education/Macy's 2008 Teacher of the Year, Teacher of the Year finalists and the 2008 Mary Brogan "Excellence in Teaching" Award recipient during a luncheon at the Governor's Mansion. Sponsored by Apple Inc., the luncheon highlighted the individual efforts of Florida's top educators and the positive impact they, and teachers throughout the state, have on students.
The educators honored were:
- Richard Ellenburg, a science teacher at Camelot Elementary School in Orange County - 2008 Florida Department of Education/Macy's Teacher of the Year.
- Deborah Fahmie, a music teacher at Cypress Elementary School in Osceola County - 2008 Florida Department of Education/Macy's Teacher of the Year Finalist.
- Robert Johnson, a ninth through 12th grade social studies teacher at Port Charlotte High School in Charlotte County - 2008 Florida Department of Education/Macy's Teacher of the Year Finalist.
- Dr. Sandy Melillo, a ninth through 12th grade English/TV production teacher at Northeast High School in Broward County - 2008 Florida Department of Education/Macy's Teacher of the Year Finalist.
- Diane Tomko, a ninth through 12th grade gifted language arts teacher at Flagler Palm Coast High School in Flagler County - 2008 Florida Department of Education/Macy's Teacher of the Year Finalist.
- Anna Phillips, a kindergarten teacher at Oak Hammock K-8 School in St. Lucie County - 2008 Mary Brogan "Excellence in Teaching" Award Recipient.
For more information, visit http://www.flgov.com/release/9833..
Florida Tops Nation's 21 School Choice Programs
The latest ranking by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice has ranked Florida's McKay Scholarship program as being the best school-choice program out of the 21 school choice programs across the nation. The state was also recognized for the Florida Tax-Credit Scholarship program, which ranked 10th in the nation.
For more information, visit www.friedmanfoundation.org..
2008-2010 State Touring Program Roster Released
The Department of State's Division of Cultural Affairs announced the release of the 2008-2010 State Touring Program "Arts on Tour" roster. The new roster includes 25 of the state's finest performers in dance, music, theatre, and storytelling. All Florida non-profit organizations and any units of city, county or state government, including school boards, are eligible to participate.
Complete roster and application materials for the State Touring
Program are available on the Division of Cultural Affair's Web site,
National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola Establishes a Distance Learning Program
The National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola established an Interactive Technology Center (ITC), allowing students and teachers statewide to learn about aeronautics and the physics of flight. The ITC prototype is a distance-learning classroom that includes state-of-the-art technology. It will enhance learning throughout the state via video and teleconferencing capabilities, as well as provide a learning environment in which students can participate without physically being at the museum.
For more information and to schedule an "online fieldtrip" to the aviation museum for your class, please visit
Commissioner Smith Seeking Membership for the State Instructional Materials Committees
Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith announced he is seeking membership for the State Instructional Materials Committees (SIMC). Members of the committee review and evaluate instructional materials submitted for state adoption and make recommendations to the Commissioner.
Appointments for the SIMC will be made by Commissioner Smith in the following subject areas:
- Driver Education and Traffic Safety 9-12
- English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) K-12
- Language Arts, Writing, and Communication Skills K-12
- Literature 6-12
- Music K-12
Potential members can go to http://www.fldoe.org/bii/instruct_mat/simcov.asp
for nomination forms, or contact Patty Ceci at email@example.com or by phone at (850) 245-0903 for more information.
Sheriff Donates Boat to Florida Keys Community College
Florida Keys Community College President Jill Landesberg-Boyle was presented keys to a 28-foot Mako boat by Monroe County Sheriff Rick Roth for use in their Marine Sciences programs.
The vessel was acquired through the Sheriff Seizure program whereby assets are confiscated from criminals and redeemed for
worthy causes such as education. Students from the Marine Engineering, Diving Technology and Marine Environmental programs will use the boat for research projects such as the Vandenberg Impact Study and in classes, such as Marine Data Collection, Seamanship and Diving. For more information,
log on to www.fkcc.edu.