John O'Connor

John O’Connor is a reporter for StateImpact Florida, a project of WUSF, WLRN and NPR covering education. John writes for the StateImpact Florida blog and produces stories for air on Florida public radio stations.

John is a former political reporter for The (Columbia, S.C.) State and the Daily Record in Baltimore. He has a bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland. He was chosen as the South Carolina Press Association 2009 Journalist of the Year.

Math is a language. And like any language, teachers need to help students translate the language into terms they understand.

“This idea is to learn a language you have to talk it... you have to engage in it,” says Algebra Project founder Bob Moses.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Ryan Seashore starts off every CodeNow workshop with a simple request — write out step-by-step instructions for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Miller_Center / Flickr

Fifty years ago Bob Moses organized volunteers to register voters in Mississippi during the Freedom Summer.

Elle Moxley / StateImpact Florida

Florida schools are in the middle of a high-tech transformation.

Sarah Gonzalez / StateImpact Florida

A national foundation thinks school principals have more to learn.

wad of cash
401 (k) 2013 / Flickr

A new Florida report tracks differences in employment and earnings based on the degrees earned by Florida college and university graduates.

Science degrees pay. And generally, the higher the degree one earns the more they can expect to be paid — even within their field.

Those are two conclusions from a first-of-its-kind economic study of Florida’s college and university graduates. Lawmakers required the annual reports two years ago, part of a push to tie the state’s education system to job needs.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

About half of Florida ninth graders failed the state's Algebra 1 exam in their first attempt last year.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Ocoee High School just west of Orlando opened less than a decade ago. But technology-wise, the 2,300-student school is already obsolete.

U.S. Department of Education

Today is the start of Teacher Appreciation Week. The North Carolina-based Center for Teaching Quality has launched a social media campaign called "Teaching Is." They want teachers to clear up misconceptions about the job. 

StateImpact Florida's John O'Connor asked three Florida teachers — Lalla Pierce from Pensacola, Mike Meiczinger of Lutz and Jaraux Washington of Tampa — to read their tweets and talk about what teaching is.


About half of all new teachers leave the field within five years. Duval County businesses and community groups are trying to find a solution.


The U.S. Department of Education is investigating the business practices of Florida’s largest for-profit charter school operator, according to a Miami Herald scoop.

This week Florida students are taking FCAT math, reading and writing exams for the final time.

Jenn Greiving / Wikimedia Commons

Florida lawmakers have approved a handful of major bills since session began, but what changes, if any, could they make to the state's education system before session is over?

Florida’s plans to add computerized grading of its new statewide writing test could eventually eliminate the need for a writing test, advocates for the technology said.