Florida education news: Achievement gap, arts education, stimulus funds and more
RETIRING: Hillsborough Community College president Gwendolyn Stephenson announces her retirement next year.
SMALL STEPS: Pinellas schools' improvement plans show they're taking some actions to eliminate the achievement gap, but critics say the changes aren't enough. With sidebar on school improvement plans.
FEDERAL WASTE? More than $2 million in stimulus funds have gone toward putting more students into Tampa area massage and beauty schools.
LEAVE US BE: Residents of the Suncoast Lakes subdivision in Pasco lobby hard to keep their kids out of the mix in the district's new attendance zone revisions.
DANCE, DANCE, DANCE: Some Hillsborough elementary students test the theory whether participation in dance and other arts increases academic performance.
VOUCHER FIGHT: The two Democrats running for Florida attorney general toss barbs back and forth over whether one of them has supported school vouchers, the Miami Herald reports.
SAVING JOBS: More than half of the Florida jobs protected by the federal stimulus have been in schools, the Palm Beach Post reports.
GRADUATION DEAL: The Palm Beach board signs a pricey three-year agreement to hold commencements at the county convention center, the Palm Beach Post reports.
TOO SHORT: Flagler's new seven-period day causes academic struggles for students and teachers, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.
FLASHING RED MEANS STOP: Alachua plans a crackdown on drivers who illegally pass school buses on the roads, the Gainesville Sun reports.
Visit the Gradebook at noon for an interview with Teresa Daiker, co-chair of the Fundamental Schools Advisory Network in Pinellas County.