Re-Envisioning Higher Education for Florida

In a recent Huffington Post article, Peter M. Shane purposed a new vision for higher education in America. Here is the driving question I found intriguing:

“What would it mean to build the theory and practice of journalism into the very DNA of American higher education? How would it affect communities to see a flowering of news outlets grounded in local universities, colleges, and community colleges?”

”For starters, it seems to me that journalism-centered liberal arts education would respond simultaneously to three major social problems. One is the shortfall in local news production around the country. The second is the well-documented deficiency in college student writing. The third is the low level of Americans’ civic literacy, their knowledge about how social institutions work and who makes the policy decisions that affect their lives.”

Read the full article from Huffington Post HERE

What are your thoughts about this article? Could Florida be the first to create “an entire program of liberal education that takes as its central theme the idea that the new media phenomenon is potentially making everyone a journalist?”

If Florida teachers had 4x the resources, who would benefit more?

Across the state of Florida, we find more and more stories of schools loosing funding.  This has a huge impact on the moral of teachers.  If keeping students engaged in the learning process wasn’t already a challenge, now try doing it with less resources.

State spending on education as percentage of total resources Florida ranks 42nd. As a state, Florida spends only 3.1% of its resources on education.” Source: Education Week, Quality Counts, 2009

THE QUESTION: As a teacher in the state of Florida, if you had 4x the resources you have now, what improvements or changes would you make in your classroom? How would that impact the students?

Be creative.  Elaborate.  Inspire Florida teachers with your ideas!

IMPORTANT: Early Childhood Caucus Focuses on Investments in Children

Rep. Ari Porth (D-Broward) kicked off Florida’s first-ever Early Childhood Caucus meeting in Tallahassee on Tues., Nov. 3. A bipartisan group of legislators, together with agency leaders and child advocates, attended the organizational meeting to begin discussions on how Florida can make smarter, more strategic investments in young children.

Porth presented two brief videos. The first, Why Early Investment Matters, highlighted economist James Heckman talking about the critical need to adequately fund early childhood programs to ensure the nation’s future prosperity. The second video was a news clip of retired military officers raising early childhood investments as a national security issue, and calling for immediate action by policymakers.

Truth about #10 Video Contest

To help set the record straight on Florida’s performance in education, Worst To First is hosting a video contest. Through the “Truth about 10” contest, high school and college students will create their own video spots to shine a bright light on Florida’s failing educational system. For more information, click on the contest tab.

Worst to First speaks at FJCCSGA President’s Assembly

What an exciting time we had at the FJCCSGA President’s Assembly in Orlando this past weekend. On Thursday night, the DoubleTree Hotel conference room was packed with nearly 300 student government leaders from 27 colleges across the state. The energy was amazing!

To start, Bud Chiles shared the Worst To First story and the vision he has for this statewide initiative in bringing about fundamental change in the status quo for the education dynamics in the state of Florida. During the Assembly, the Worst to First team talked with the students leaders on how they can start their own Wost To First campus.

The goal of this initiative is to get one million Floridians to sign the Worst To First pledge stating they want to “Make Florida a Better Place for Florida’s Kids.” If every person will sign the pledge and find 20 other friends and family members to sign as well, to gather around this great cause, we can make a difference.

Below is the list of campuses that were present for the event. If your campus is interested in becoming a Worst To First Campus CLICK HERE. So many movements in the history of this great nation have been fueled by a spirit of youth. The future of Florida’s educational system needs to be fueled by that same spirit and is in desperate need of your vitality and innovation. We need you!