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FloridaStudentsAchieve.org Launches to Empower Parents to Lead in Education

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In a job world that continues to value higher standards and improving student outcomes, the Florida Education Foundation recently partnered with the Florida Department of Education to launch a new parent-centric website, FloridaStudentsAchieve.org
The goal of the site is to empower parents and people serving in parental roles to be leaders of education in their homes and in their classrooms. It provides resources to help parent make decisions about the best schools for their students including information on school grades, the performance of students in academic disciplines at each school, and each school’s success in producing “learning gains” with its students.
As more data becomes available, the site will eventually show a three year trend of each school’s performance.
Additionally the site provides detailed information on the Florida Standards. This enables parents to better understand what is happening instructionally in their students’ classrooms and provides a framework for discussing student achievement with teachers.
The site also provides information to help parents sort out the differences between all of Florida’s educational options including traditional district run public schools, charter schools, virtual education and much more.
Information is added to the site almost on a weekly basis. Parents wishing to keep up with the tools and tips provide can subscribe to online content updates.

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Wells Fargo Funds Presenting Sponsorship for Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards

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The Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards is a long-running statewide program to recognize and inspire school-level business partnerships in Florida education.
Wells Fargo will be the presenting sponsor for the 2017 awards, continuing a commitment originally established in 2016.
Each year, every school district in Florida may recognize its leading business partners for the positive impact on student achievement. Those organizations chosen by their districts are invited to participate in the Florida Chamber of Commerce Education Solutions Summit, a day long dialog between business leaders and educators about the continuous improvement of Florida’s talent development systems. Besides the honorees, about 200 other business and educational leaders participate in the Chamber summit.
The award recipients are honored by Florida Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart during the awards luncheon at the Summit. For more information about the Chamber’s educational summit and the CBRA event, click here.

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State Farm Writes New Chapter for Early Grades Reading

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Recognizing that reading is the foundation for success in education, State Farm recently provided a grant to the Florida Education Foundation and the Department of Education to plan a statewide strategy to improve early grades reading outcomes.
The grant has led to the formation of a consortium of academic and early grades reading leaders from many of Florida’s school districts and from other partners working in early literacy.
With a goal of 95 percent of students reading on grade level by the end of 3rd grade, the consortium has identified three areas of strategic focus: educator development; systems of early learning; and community development.
The collaborative group recently completed a review of educational competencies needed to achieve optimal results in reading instruction. The Florida Center for Reading Research, the University of South Florida, and the Florida Office of Early Learning have joined in as partners in the process.

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Lockheed Martin Continues Premier Sponsorship of Sunshine State Scholars

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Each year the Florida Department of Education recognizes leading high school students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The students, all high school juniors, and their families are invited to a two-day celebration of their accomplishments called Sunshine State Scholars.
Lockheed Martin became the presenting sponsor of Sunshine State Scholars in 2016. They will continue that lead sponsorship role for 2017.
Sunshine State Scholars is a collaboration between Florida’s STEM employers and colleges and universities to broaden the awareness of STEM pathways for these students as they enter college. The purpose is to inspire and motivate these students to continue work in these rigorous fields and to establish both academic and career connections for the future.
Each of the honored scholars is also given the opportunity to invite a motivational teacher to attend the event. Teachers are treated to professional learning around STEM topics as well as the opportunity to connect with STEM employers. Participating teachers increase their understanding of how science and technology are changing industry and how those changes might impact their classroom objectives.
The support of Lockheed Martin and other sponsors enables students, families and teachers to participate free of charge.
The 2017 event is scheduled for May 19 and 20 in Orlando.

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Photo Gallery – Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards

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By law, schools are required to report violent incidents and states are required to make that information public. Few states are following this mandate. In the aftermath of yet another agonizing, senseless school shooting, it’s impossible not to ask how can we prevent this from ever happening again.

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Results Show Positive Impact of Florida Reads Best

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From the school board to the statehouse, the food served at school is the focus of debate.The statistics that started the food fights are familiar: One in five U.S. children is overweight, and increasing numbers of them are developing type 2 diabetes, an illness that used to be limited to adults.

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