Top Performing Districts and Schools Recognized
The Florida Department of Education recently recognized the state's highest performing school districts for either maintaining or improving their district grade to an "A" or having all "A" or "B" graded schools in 2011. Thirteen school districts have earned an "A" grade since the inception of district grades in 2004, and 21 districts this year have no schools graded lower than a "C." In addition, 12 school districts had schools that dramatically improved their grades, moving up to an "A" from either a "D" or "F" grade last year. For more information and to view these districts and schools, visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2011/2011_07_28.asp.
Department of Education Launches YouTube Channel
A new education-centered YouTube channel focused on providing a variety of informative videos is now available. The Florida Department of Education launched the new channel to help teachers, parents, students, and other education stakeholders enhance their connection to, and understanding of, Florida's education system. The channel joins the Department's other social media presence that includes Facebook, Twitter and education blogs for specific audiences. To visit these sites or to learn more about the Department's social media presence, go to www.fldoe.org.
Latest Literacy League Podcast Now on YouTube
Florida resident and author M.C. Finotti answers student questions about her book The Treasure of Amelia Island, in the latest podcast from the Florida Department of Education's Literacy League book club. The podcast features students asking questions about the popular book inspired by one of Florida's well-liked destinations along the state's East Coast. Throughout the year, the Literacy League book club connects prominent authors with Florida middle school students through a podcast question-and-answer session about a featured book. Upcoming book selections include Zora and Me by Victoria Bond, with questions due from students by Oct. 31, and The Spy Who Came from the Sea by Peggy Nolan, with questions due from students by Jan. 30, 2012. To view the podcast, visit the Department's new YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/educationfl. For more information about the Literacy League book club, visit www.fldoe.org/literacyleague.
New Education 360 Videos Posted on YouTube
As a way to communicate important changes to Florida's education system, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) has added new episodes of the Education 360 video series to its recently launched YouTube channel. The episodes, hosted by DOE Teacher Liaison Kelly Seay, feature short, straightforward discussions with independent stakeholders including teachers, principals and school district leaders who are directly involved with the education reform process. Major topics focus on new guidelines being developed to train future school leaders, fairly and accurately measuring student learning growth, and creating common materials that districts can use to gauge student knowledge in hard-to-measure subject areas. To view the new episodes, visit www.youtube.com/educationfl and click on the "Educators" playlist.
Florida Virtual School To Host Virtual Open House
Registration is now open for participants to learn about the benefits of virtual education at the Momentum 2011 Virtual Open House sponsored by the Florida Virtual School (FLVS). Participants will step into a virtual world featuring exciting technology, avatars, presentations and information sessions by FLVS teachers, counselors and students - all from the comfort of their own home. The open house is available at no cost to all interested individuals. To find out more about the Momentum 2011 Virtual Open House or to register, visit www.FLVS.net.
Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher Grants Available
Certified Florida K-12 teachers wishing to integrate agricultural concepts into non-agricultural curricula have until Oct. 1, 2011, to apply for a Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, Inc. Teacher Grant. The program funds classroom projects that teach Florida students about the importance of agriculture and introduce them to agricultural producers and representatives in their area. For more information and to download an application packet, visit http://www.flagintheclassroom.com/grants.html.
Model Content Frameworks Available for Public Comment
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has provided a draft of the PARCC Model Content Frameworks in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics for public review and feedback. These frameworks have been developed through a collaborative state-led process between PARCC state experts and members of the Common Core State Standards writing teams. The Model Content Frameworks serve several purposes: They help identify the big ideas in the Common Core State Standards for each grade level; help determine the focus for the various PARCC assessment components; and will support the development of the PARCC assessment blueprints.
While educators and experts from many states have helped bring the Model Content Frameworks to this point, the public review period (August 3 - August 17) is an opportunity for all education stakeholders to provide feedback on the frameworks, including the introductions and the grade level analyses, which contain suggested areas of emphasis and priority. By following this link, http://www.parcconline.org/parcc-content-frameworks, users will be able to review the draft Model Content Frameworks and provide feedback through an online survey.
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