Florida’s Graduation Rate Continues to Climb
For the fifth straight year, Florida’s graduation rate soared to new levels and the dropout rate declined. The state’s graduation rate rose more than two-and-a-half percentage points to 79.0 percent while the dropout rate fell to a record low of two percent. The graduation rate increase was driven largely by the performance of minority students and included an increase of 3.5 percentage points for African-American students, a 3.2 percentage point increase for Hispanic students. White students saw a 2.3 percentage point increase. The decline in the dropout rate includes a decrease of 0.5 percentage points for African-American students and a 0.3 percentage point drop for White students while the dropout rate for Hispanic students did not change. For more information about Florida’s graduation and dropout rates, visit http://www.flgov.com/release/11935.
Florida Student Wins National Poster Contest
A ninth grade student from Oviedo High School has been named the winner of the National Association for Pupil Transportation’s (NAPT) annual school bus safety poster contest. German Salazar, Jr.’s poster, “Be Aware – Know the Danger Zone!” reminds motorists to be safe in and around school buses. The poster was selected for the national award during the NAPT annual conference and will be showcased during the 2011 National School Bus Safety Week campaign to be held Oct. 16 – 22, 2011. Salazar was selected earlier this year as Florida’s first place winner among students in grades 6-8, and his poster was then submitted to the national competition. He received a $1,000 savings bond for his winning depiction of school bus safety awareness. Congratulations!
Florida’s Race To The Top Picks Up Speed
Florida’s Race to the Top (RTTT) has gained significant momentum, with seven of the eight Florida Department of Education (DOE) RTTT committees filled with eager volunteers. The procurement process to secure a vendor to help build a value-added student growth measure for use by school districts as they create local evaluation plans has also begun. Additionally, DOE has completed reviews of all school district-submitted work plans and provided districts with essential feedback. The eight statewide implementation committees will focus on activities that benefit every school district across the state. Examples include developing an instructional support tool for use by all Florida educators, researching and developing a system by which all school districts can measure growth in student performance fairly and accurately, and establishing a single online portal to connect educator resources across the state. To learn more about Florida’s Race to the Top efforts or to sign up for update notifications for newly posted information, visit http://www.fldoe.org/ARRA/RacetotheTop.asp.
“Teacher Talk” Television Show Returns to the Airwaves
The popular television show “Teacher Talk” designed to communicate with Florida teachers about innovative approaches to education is again being broadcast on the Department of Education’s (DOE) statewide Florida Knowledge Network. The DOE’s Teacher Liaison, Kelly Seay, re-launched the show with an episode that focused on the benefits of using data in the classroom to maximize student learning and narrow achievement gaps among Florida students. “Teacher Talk” will air the second Tuesday of every month and be re-run as time slots are available. It is also available on Florida iTunesU and the Just for Teachers website at www.fldoe.org/justforteachers.
Florida Service-Learning Leader Schools Nominations Sought
Nominations are now being accepted for the Florida Service-Learning Leader Schools Recognition program. Florida Learn & Serve annually recognizes elementary, middle, and high schools from across the state that demonstrate service-learning that enhances student learning, addresses community needs, is integrated into the life and mission of the school, and is designed to meet both student and community needs. For more information, visit http://learnandserve.hhp.ufl.edu/awards/sl_leader_schools.html
Celebrate Literacy Week Public Service Announcement Contest Closing Date Looms
Florida students in grades K-12 have until Dec. 17, 2010, to create a 26-second public service announcement as part of the 2011 “Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! – Champions Read, Readers Lead” contest. Complete contest details can be found at http://www.justreadflorida.com/literacyweek.asp. If you have any questions, send an e-mail to email@example.com or contact Kevin Smith at (850) 245-0503.
Deadline Approaching to Enter the 2011 Severe Weather Awareness Week Poster and Video Contests
There is still time for students across the state to enter the 2011 Severe Weather Awareness Week Poster and Video Contests. The Florida Division of Emergency Management and the American Red Cross encourage Florida students to submit an entry for the poster and video public service announcement contests by Jan. 10, 2011, that shows how to be prepared for the natural hazards that affect the Sunshine State. The winning entries will be featured during the 2011 Severe Weather Awareness Week campaign and students will win tickets to Disney World, weather radios and other great prizes. Complete contest rules and information for both contests can be found at www.FloridaDisaster.org/SWAW/2011.
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