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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Today's news

Edu_grads450 IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR: Students from a dozen Pinellas County high schools donned the cap and gown on Monday for graduation-a-rama, a day of celebrations for the teens and their parents. Click here for the Times photo slide show of the events. (Times photo: Jim Damaske)

DON'T HELP: Barbara Heggaton is fighting for her career, all because of the FCAT exam. A teacher's aide says she overheard the Moon Lake Elementary teacher tell a student he got an answer wrong on the test, and within days Pasco superintendent Heather Fiorentino recommended firing Heggaton. The teacher got her day of defense before the School Board on Monday.

Increasing the tuition at Florida's three top research universities offers five attractive benefits, not the least of which would be more professors and more course offerings, the Times editorial board says. And, the idea to reward students who score well on AP exams is simply bad, Liam Julian of the James Madison Institute writes in the Tallahassee Democrat.

ALWAYS A GAMBLE: Broward County voters allowed casinos in their midst with the understanding the money would go to local K-12 projects. Now the money doesn't appear destined for Broward, or solely for K-12 schools either, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

LENDING SCANDAL MAKES MARK: Florida Atlantic University has canceled a deal between its athletic department and a loan company just a week after Attorney General McCollum launched an investigation into such relationships, the Palm Beach Post reports.

CLINTON PUSHES PRE-K: Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton came to Florida on Monday, where she called for a universal prekindergarten program for all 4-year-olds, the Miami Herald reports. Early education advocates, who have seen Florida's program fall short of the quality measures they support, remain cautious until they hear the details.

FORGET THE LAWYER: The US Supreme Court rules that parents of children with disabilities have the right to sue a school district over their children's individualized plan without one, the NY Times reports. Why is this a big deal? Because many parents can't afford a lawyer, and then districts accuse them of practicing law inappropriately and won't listen to their concerns.

WHERE IN THE WORLD? Do you know where Dubrovnik is? If you said Croatia, you might have won the AAA Travel High School Challenge in Orlando yesterday. Samuel Brandt of Oregon got that question right to win a $20,000 scholarship and prove that not all students are uninformed about geography, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:17am]


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