Cathy Carter

Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and StateImpact Florida.

Before joining WUSF, Cathy was the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition for Delaware Public Media and reported on a variety of topics from education to the arts.

Cathy also reported for WAMU, the NPR news station in Washington D.C, was a host at XM Satellite Radio and wrote arts and culture stories for a variety of newspaper,s including the Virginian Pilot and the Baltimore Sun.

Her work has been honored by journalism organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Maryland Press Association and the Delaware Press Association.

As a Massachusetts native and a graduate of Boston’s Emerson College, Cathy - as are all citizens under state mandate - had no choice but to be born a Boston Red Sox fan.

The state's newest school voucher program is ramping up.

Beginning Monday Oct. 1, Floridians purchasing a new car will now have the option to designate up to $105 of the vehicle's sales tax to fund what's called Hope Scholarships.  The money generated from the new car sales tax program will help fund scholarships for students who are being bullied at school.

According to the state's largest teacher's union, educators vote at a higher rate than the average Floridian.

Several dozen Pinellas County teachers gathered in downtown St. Petersburg Sunday for a "Get Out The Vote" rally. Like their counterparts across the country, the teachers wore the color red as a sign of solidarity. 

There has been an arrest in the Clearwater 'stand your ground' case.

The State Attorney's office is charging Micheal Drejka with manslaughter in the death of Markeis McGlockton.

According to a press release, an arrest warrant was issued this Monday morning and Drejka is being booked into the Pinellas County Jail. His bond has been set at $100,000.

The Reverend Al Sharpton led a rally at a Clearwater church Sunday to protest Florida’s controversial 'stand your ground' law.

And while the civil rights leader spoke in the sanctuary, demonstrators made their feelings heard outside.

A crowd of 200 filled Selby Library auditorium in Sarasota Wednesday night for a town hall featuring students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Hundreds more were unable to get a seat after the hall reached capacity.

This summer, students involved in the March For Our Lives movement are traveling across the country to energize young people. Local organizers say they want to educate and encourage them to vote.   

Florida has received another reprieve in submitting its education plan to the federal government.

In 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into federal law. ESSA passed both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support. It's a long-term plan that succeeds the No Child Left Behind Act.

Professional mermaid isn't a position that comes up often for job seekers. But for 70 years, a Florida roadside attraction has been the profession's biggest employer. 

On a cold, gray Saturday morning, dozens of women swam laps in iceberg blue water at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park as onlookers bundled up in coats and mittens cheered them on.

Close to 60 aspiring mermaids are competing to earn just eight slots on the park's famous mermaid squad.

The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to wade in on the state’s controversial new education law.

The case has now been transferred to the Leon County Circuit Court instead.

A new law allows any Florida resident to question what's being taught in the state's public schools.

A handful of complaints have been filed in school districts across the state since the law took effect in July. Previously, challenges to curriculum and instructional material could only be made by parents.

PIXABAY.COM

Just three states hold elections for local school superintendents and Florida is one of them. But a proposed constitutional amendment could change things. 

Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

At the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores, a dozen or so kindergartners gather for a pop quiz, next to a coop holding an injured bird.

“Name a bird that can fly,” asks teacher Victoria Rhodes.

“A vulture and a pelican," a student quickly answers.

"Now," Rhodes pauses, "name a bird that cannot fly."

Kleanish Reynolds, 6, raises her hand and offers "penguin" as one possible correct answer.

Pixabay

Recess has returned, but not for charter schools, and state testing will be limited to two weeks. Those are just two of the proposals lawmakers crammed into an education bill that capped off the end of the legislative session.

Education reporters Cathy Carter and Rowan Moore Gerety unpack some other education issues that made their way into the state budget now headed to the desk of Governor Rick Scott.  

According to the Florida Department of Education, nearly eighty one percent of Florida teenagers earned a high school diploma last year. That makes the state's graduation rate 20 percent higher than it was a decade ago.

It mirrors a national trend--but is the news too good to be true?  

Even for a generation raised in a climate of growing acceptance, for LGBTQ students -- expressing sexual orientation or gender identity at school, can still feel unsafe.

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