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News Clips 01/11/2013
Report: Florida 6th in education nationwide
Source: CF News 13, 01/10/13
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By Jeff Allen
The state of Florida made a big jump up in a report that ranks states by how well they are educating students.
Education Week’s 2013 Quality Counts report ranks the Sunshine State sixth in the country. That’s up from 11th last year.
One of the factors in the rankings is how well schools get students ready for the real world.
At Oviedo High School in Seminole County, Cameron Preston conducts experiments to see if a gene in perennial ryegrass that guards the plant from frost can be isolated and injected into citrus plants.
The result could be huge for the citrus industry.
It’s something you might expect in a professional lab in some high-tech company right? But Cameron is a student using the high school lab.
“The skills I’m learning in bioscience and my research class are furthering my education in real-world, and I potentially want to be a biomedical engineer, so the more experience I can get in that field, the better,” said Preston.
These experiments are part of Oviedo High School’s bioscience technology program. It’s fairly new, but it’s already directing many students into promising career paths.
“Because of taking bioscience and doing this project, I’m seriously considering going into research,” said Tessa Voorhees.
Its career path driven programs like this one that helped earn Florida the ranking of sixth in the nation for its quality of education.
The superintendent of Seminole County Public Schools recognized there is a growing demand for skilled professionals in the field of bioscience.
“These kids hopefully will be the ones to take those jobs because they are being prepared now, they’re being exposed to it now,” said bioscience teacher P.J. Kreahling.
And those students often work at local universities, like the University of Central Florida.
“We had a researcher come up to us and said ‘you guys are better than our second year students.’ No one knew we were high school students, so it’s amazing that we get the opportunity to do this,” said Ciara Nowak.
No matter what they end up doing, these students will be ready for the next level.
Even though Florida ranks sixth in the Quality Counts report, it actually ranks fourth in the country when it comes to preparing students for the workforce.