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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

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HEAPED WITH PRAISE, HE STAYS HUMBLE: Tb_schoolfotoStudents and fellow teachers at Wesley Chapel High couldn't have agreed more that Tom Adams deserved the county teacher of the year award. "The way he teaches, everybody really understands," senior Rodney Harden said. Adams only smiled and said he's just one piece of a large puzzle working to educate kids.
(Click on photo to enlarge; Times photo: Mike Pease. Adams assisted Kristina Robbins as she works math problems on Friday.)

HIS SCIENCE TEACHER MUST BE PROUD: A Pasco County high school student turns his love of geckos, Madagascar cockroaches and Burmese snakes, oh my, into a business. The 17-year-old owns and operates ReptiCenter, which opens today on busy US 19.

THE TROUBLE WITH CHARTERS: Their operators don't always know what they're doing. And then money problems crop up. And then school districts have to deal with the fallout. It's a lesson learned in several Tampa Bay area districts, and now, in Palm Beach County, where the Sun-Sentinel reports that 10 charters are in financial trouble.

PRE-K PROMISING: Results of kindergarten readiness screening show that Florida 5-year-olds are better prepared for kindergarten than the group who started school in past years. It's a different test, they're different kids, and there's no real way to show why. Still, state education officials tell the Orlando Sentinel that it looks like the Voluntary Pre-K program is working.

MAKING A NEW HOME: Thousands of Guatemalan Indian families are moving to Florida. The transition isn't easy. The Associated Press tells the story of Juan Mendez and Polly Gaspar, who tutor the children on all aspects of schooling.

MORE ON STAR: Seminole County school district leaders admit they made a mistake in negotiating teacher performance pay with the local union, the Orlando Sentinel reports. That's not stopping the district from moving ahead with its plan, though.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:14am]


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