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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

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Tb_billfoster_450x300 NO DARWIN, NO HITLER: Bill Foster, considered a leading candidate for St. Petersburg mayor in 2009, links the teaching of Darwin's evolutionary theory to the Nazi massacres of WWII. He revealed his views in a letter to the Pinellas School Board, amid a heated statewide debate over what should be taught in Florida's science classrooms. To join the Gradebook discussion on this story, click here. (Times photo, 2001)

ON THE HOOK: Hillsborough taxpayers appear likely to have to cover the $5-million costs of rebuilding a school that was defective from the opening day, as the district's lawsuit against the builders falls flat.

THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW: For the fourth year, Hillsborough high school students vie for the chance to write a bill for the Florida Legislature to consider.

MORE MONEY FOR SCHOOLS: Gov. Crist plans to propose adding $800-million to public education funding to allow for teacher raises even as revenue falls and enrollment is flat, the Buzz blog reports.

NO PRIDE IN A C+: Whatever good news leaders choose to spin from Education Week's Quality Counts report, Florida needs to significantly improve its education system, and its dropout rate is proof of that, the Sun-Sentinel editorializes.

DISTRICTS OPPOSING EVOLUTION STANDARD: The Florida Citizens for Science blog has uncovered resolutions of at least six Florida school boards that want the state to allow for the teaching of "alternatives" to evolution.

CLASS-SIZE FLEXIBILITY: Both the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission and the Florida Legislature are looking for ways to ease the burden of the 2002 class size amendment, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. But even supporters of change see a tough road ahead.

CONDUIT FOR THE BOARD? A Collier high school teacher traveled to Illinois weeks before the School Board dismissed sitting superintendent Ray Baker to tell Dennis Thompson, the man who eventually replaced Baker, that the board wanted to hire him, the Naples Daily News reports.

Bunny PUNISHED FOR THE BUNNY: A Kissimmee high school junior gets two days of detention for wearing clothing with the Playboy bunny logo on them, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The girl complains that the dress code doesn't ban the logo, but the district says enforcement is up to individual schools.

BRACING FOR BAD NEWS: FAU president Frank Brogan freezes travel and hiring among other steps in anticipation of a $7-million budget shortfall, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Visit the Gradebook at noon for an interview with new K-12 chancellor Frances Haithcock.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:32am]


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