September 26, 2008
Vol. 2, Issue 20
Florida Schools Receive $147.1 Million for Outstanding Academic Performance
Approximately $147.1 million was distributed to 1,959 Florida schools in recognition of their academic achievement and improvement during the 2007-2008 school year. Based on the state’s school grading system, schools that either receive an “A” grade or improve at least one grade from the previous year are eligible to receive the recognition funds. Since the program began in 1999, Florida has awarded more than $1.129 billion in school recognition. For more on the story, visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2008/2008_09_17.asp.
Department of Education Releases FCAT Science Lessons Learned Publication
The Florida Department of Education announced the release of FCAT Science Lessons Learned: 2003–2006 Data Analyses and Instructional Implications. The publication provides educators with detailed trend analyses of student performance on FCAT Science in Grades 5, 8, and 11. It includes summaries, observations, and statistical trends that provide a comprehensive study of student performance by grade. For more information, visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2008/2008_09_23.asp.
Department of Education Appoints Regional Directors
The Department of Education announced the appointment of five Regional Executive Directors to oversee Florida’s Differentiated Accountability program. Each individual was chosen based on their record of success in leading school improvement and reform efforts. The directors will work collaboratively with school staff and district leadership to provide focused support to help meet federal and state proficiency goals. Nikolai Vitti will lead Region 1, which covers Northwest Florida; Leila Mousa will cover Region 2, Northeast Florida; Joseph Burke will oversee Region 3, Southeast Florida; Gail Daves will cover Region 4, Southwest Florida; and Jeffrey Fernandez will oversee Region 5, South Florida. For more details, visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2008/2008_09_09.asp.
16th Annual First Freedom Student Competition
The Council for America's First Freedom announces the 16th annual First Freedom Student Competition. This national essay contest offers 9th - 12th grade students an opportunity to compete for a $3,000, $1,500 and $750 award, as they examine the First Amendment and the history and relevance of religious freedom in America and the world today.
This year’s topic introduces students to George Washington’s famous statement about “mere” toleration in his 1790 letter to the Jewish congregation of Newport, R.I. Students will identify the basic principles of religious liberty espoused in this primary document and will further research and assess how well the United States has lived up to Washington’s ideal.
For guidelines, topic and registration, visit www.firstfreedom.org, and click on the red button under Council News. Student online registration is due by Nov. 24, 2008, with the postmark entry deadline on November 28.
Lake City Community College Receives National Science Foundation Grant
Lake City Community College was the only community college in the country out of 126 institutions nationwide to receive the National Science Foundation Noyce grant. The $483,000 grant encourages students to go into math and science teaching in low income school districts.
St. Petersburg College Offers Rare Orthotics, Prosthetics Program
Only 61 percent of those who need orthotics can find a qualified professional to help them. Working to change that problem is St. Petersburg College's Orthotics and Prosthetics program. Launched in 2005, it is one of only four in the country and the only one of its kind in the Southeast. Its board of advisers includes representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
NBA Star Al Jefferson Donates $25,000 to Miami Dade College’s North Campus
The Miami Dade College (MDC) Foundation was presented with a $25,000 check from Minnesota Timberwolves Center-Forward Al R. Jefferson to establish the Alvin Randolph Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund at the North Campus, in honor of his late father. The Alvin Randolph Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund will provide first-generation entrepreneurship and business students enrolled at MDC’s North Campus or the Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center with need-based tuition scholarships.
Program at Seminole Community College Awarded Grant
Seminole Community College was recently awarded a $74,504 English Literacy and Civics Education Grant from the Florida Department of Education. The grant will be used to purchase supplemental texts, and to support classroom activities in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program.