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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

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Tb_hillscholars_450x300_2 UP FOR A SUMMER CHALLENGE: Some kids like to learn, even when school is out. Yet for the past decade or so, summer school has been about catching up, not getting ahead. Hillsborough schools have brought back the idea of enrichment with a camp for smart seventh graders. It's like Duke's TIP program, only here. (Times photo, Carrie Pratt)

NOT INTO PHYSICS? HOW ABOUT OPERA SCHOOL? Emily Barnash of St. Petersburg competes internationally and wins a coveted summer spot at the Walnut Hill School in Massachusetts. Who says summer is a time to slack off?

SEEKING AN EDGE: Pasco-Hernando Community College trains students in the latest methods of factory work, offering certification from an industry association and, hopefully, a leg up in the job market.

FROM THE OP-ED PAGES: We live in a capitalist society, so get over your anxiety and pay students for high academic achievement, reporter Shannon Colavecchio-Van Sickler writes in an opinion piece. Readers, meanwhile, write several letters on their views about education today.

FOREIGN LANGUAGES ARE IMPORTANT: Brevard County will open its first foreign language immersion school, focusing on Mandarin Chinese and Spanish, Florida Today reports. Only 0.5 percent of U.S. students taking a foreign language study Chinese, says the story, which also gives a nod to Greek schools in Pasco and Pinellas.

CAN'T GET IN: The class size amendment is squeezing enrollment opportunities at coveted magnet schools in Palm Beach County, the Palm Beach Post reports. The voter mandate is moving to classroom counts in 2008, rather than school averages. As you weigh these concerns, remember it was South Florida voters who pushed the rule through, while most of the rest of the state objected.

BOOST FOR TEACHERS: Miami-Dade gets $18.3-million from the feds to pay teacher incentives at low-performing schools, the Miami Herald reports. Hillsborough got about $15-million in the program.

HERE'S A FAMILIAR DEBATE: Should schools close on Good Friday? A Boston-area school district committee says no, but the heavily Catholic community says yes, the Boston Globe reports.

CULTURAL EXPERIENCE, OR JUST DUMB? Here's the lead from an Associated Press story - "An Ohio charter school that emphasizes African history and culture served gin to sixth graders at a graduation ceremony and state education officials said they plan to investigate." Enough said.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:18am]


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