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How to Address Teacher Shortages

by: Coral Ericson

One of the biggest challenges schools and districts are facing this year is the massive teacher shortages. Finding and keeping quality educators post-pandemic has proved to be very difficult for a number of reasons. While this is a pressing issue, progress is being made. Incentives for teachers are being offered in districts nationwide, and new teachers are being hired rapidly. We must take a hard look at the key areas of need in order to determine lasting solutions.

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News, Curriculum

Florida Trades FSA for FAST- What it Means

by: Coral Ericson

In September of 2021, Governor DeSantis announced a proposal that would end the FSA and replace it with the new Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) which aims to eradicate common core and move to a growth based, progress monitoring system. The goal behind FAST is to remove common core end of year standardized assessments and implement a progress monitoring system that facilitates individual growth and supports students in reaching their academic goals. In March of 2022, Desantis signed bill, SB 1048, to implement the new required FAST system in the 2022-23 school year.

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News, Curriculum

Accommodations 101

by: Coral Ericson

It is our responsibility to ensure that all students receive quality instruction. It is the expectation that students with disabilities will receive the same quality of instruction and participate in the general education classroom as well as district and state level testing to the greatest extent possible in accordance with both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Students with disabilities contend with barriers to learning and challenges which make it difficult for them to access materials and show what they know. 

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Making Education Equitable and Accessible

by: Coral Ericson

As educators, it is critical that our students are learning in a safe, effective, and equitable environment. Our classrooms have a wide variety of learner profiles and meeting the needs of each and every student is our top priority. From ESL/ELL students to students with learning disabilities, IEPs and 504s, we must work to ensure accessibility for all students to engage them in appropriate learning experiences that meet their individual and unique needs.  

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Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.)

Florida is rolling out the new B.E.S.T. (Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking) standards in multiple phases over the next two years for Math and ELA in all grades. In advance of each phased roll-out, USATestprep will be offering updated standards-aligned materials–along with both the old and new standards–at no additional charge during transition years.