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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

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THEY EVEN PLAY ON WEEKENDS: Students from Pasco and Hernando Counties love competing in Odyssey of the Mind so much, they don't let the fact that it's Saturday bother them. Their teachers, who only coach, say they love watching the kids use their brains to come up with innovative solutions to some tough problems.

SNAPE: GOOD OR EVIL? Will Voldemort triumph? Who else will J.K. Rowling kill off? Area students and educators who can't wait for the finale of the seven-part saga predict what will happen in the (insert a sad sound here) last chapters of Harry Potter.

INNOVATION? OR REPACKAGING? The idea of high school majors now is Florida law. Many educators like the idea of focusing students toward a goal. But several districts have done little more than regroup their existing courses, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Which leads some to question whether this reform idea will matter.

In Iowa, that is. Iowa lawmakers are looking to follow in Florida's footsteps by creating a voluntary prekindergarten program for all 4-year-olds. The difference? Lawmakers actually are taking the initiative, rather than being forced by voters to do it, the Des Moines Register reports. The similarity? Parents there, like here, worry about the quality a state program can provide.

BUSINESS SCHOOL FOR KIDS: As Florida embarks on its efforts to improve career and technical education for all, leaders might stop and look at the business curriculum being taught middle and high school kids in San Francisco and other areas. The courses include entrepreneurship, finance and marketing, and, proponents say, it leads to a better understanding of the real world - maybe even a job. Critics say the classes undercut the nonprofit motive of public education, the LA Times reports.

WILL IT WORK ON WII? A new video game is out for kids to help them fight obesity. You fight evil Col Esterol and Betes II, the Associated Press reports,  as you try to stop Obeez City from raging out of control. The game goes on sale in limited release Tuesday. Click here to see a preview.

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


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