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Explaining The Unusual Pressure On Florida’s Schools Chief

The State Board of Education removed the first word from interim Education Commissioner Pam Stewart’s title last week. But Board member Kathleen Shanahan had a strange question for a job interview: Tell me again who you work for? “And I just want to make sure from Pam, that she understands – with full clarity – […]

State Board Picks Pam Stewart As Education Commissioner

Pam Stewart twice stepped in to replace departing Florida education commissioners. Today she got the job long-term. The State Board of Education unanimously chose Stewart to be the state’s education commissioner. She follows Tony Bennett, who resigned from the post last month. Board member John Colon said he wanted the continuity Stewart brings to the […]

A Q & A With House Speaker Will Weatherford

We caught up with House Speaker Will Weatherford at yesterday’s meeting of the Suncoast Tiger Bay civic club. Weatherford, a Wesley Chapel Republican, took questions about Obamacare, Stand Your Ground and requiring power customers to pay the cost of new nuclear plants up front. We asked him about the expected legislative debate over Common Core […]

PARCC Multi-State Test Still An Option For Many At Education Summit

What’s the status of Florida’s relationship with the multi-state test being designed to test new Common Core State Standards? It’s complicated. The Partnership for Assessment of College and Careers was originally thought to replace most of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test beginning in 2015. Florida is one of 20 states working on the test, paid […]

What A School Grade Means To Parents

Florida’s system of giving schools grades from A-to-F has been in the spotlight this summer. First, state officials made last-minute changes to the A-to-F formula, preventing more than 150 schools from dropping to F grades. Then, Florida’s education commissioner Tony Bennett resigned over reports that he manipulated school grades in Indiana when he was in charge of […]

Why Education Could Hurt Jeb Bush’s 2016 Presidential Chances

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. Bush built his […]

PARCC: Florida’s Departure Won’t Sink Next Generation Test

Florida Legislative leaders left no wiggle room in last week’s letter to Education Commissioner Tony Bennett: They want Florida to pull out of a multi-state partnership developing a next generation standardized test to (mostly) replace the FCAT. Florida is not the first state to consider withdrawing from the group, known as the Partnership for the […]

Florida Supporters And Opponents Race To Explain Common Core

When Gov. Rick Scott and Education Commissioner Tony Bennett met with school superintendents in April, Florida’s new education standards led the questions. “Let’s start with Common Core,” said Martin County superintendent Laurie Gaylord. “We recently held a Common Core workshop for our school board and our community and we got picketed…So I guess I’m reaching […]

House And Senate Leaders Want Florida Out Of PARCC

Both leaders of Florida’s legislative chambers are asking Education Commissioner Tony Bennett to withdraw from a coalition of states developing a new standardized test. The Tampa Bay Times is reporting House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz, both Republicans, have sent a letter to Bennett requesting the state withdraw from the Partnership for […]