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.

American Institutes for Research (AIR) / Facebook

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart has recommended the American Institutes for Research produce Florida’s next statewide exam.

A Florida lawmaker has proposed allowing students to attend college tuition-free, and then repay the cost with a percentage of their salary after graduating.

The proposal has been nicknamed "Pay It Forward" tuition because students making their payments keep tuition free for future generations of college students. Students might pay their Alma mater between 2 percent and 6 percent of their annual salary for as long as 25 years, depending on the terms of the program.

The U.S. National Archives / Flickr

States across the country are taking a second look at shared K-12 math and English standards known as Common Core.

Daniel Moyle

With January just around the corner, here are some of the education stories expected to be in the headlines in 2014.

From Common Core, to Florida's next standardized test and changes to high school graduation requirement, education was a top story time and again this year.

Here's a selection of some of our most important, interesting and favorite education stories of 2013.

Click on the headlines to read the full story and listen to the broadcast versions.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Uzelea Evans has had a tough run recently.

Her unemployment payments have been hung up for six weeks because of the state’s new online system.

And the mother of five lost her Tampa apartment and has to move out next month.

But she’s working hard toward some good news in a classroom at Metropolitan Ministries – passing the GED exam.

More than 200 people gathered at Hillsborough Community College Tuesday evening to speak their minds about Florida’s new K through 12 education standards, known as Common Core.

It was the first of three public meetings this week to discuss the standards. State education officials say they’ll listen to the comments and decide whether to adjust the math and English standards.

But even after more than three hours of facts and opinions, StateImpact Florida’s John O’Connor reports the two sides still found little common ground.

Yesterday Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order stating his desire that Florida ends its role handling the money for a consortium of states developing a new test tied to Common Core State Standards.

The test is known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.

Two 2016 presidential horse race stories posit that former Gov. Jeb Bush’s stock is down following the recent resignation of Education Commissioner Tony Bennett and Florida and Indiana lawmakers questioning the veracity of the A-to-F school grading systems Bush pioneered.

Bush hasn’t said whether or not he intends to run in 2016.

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