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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

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I CAN SEE IT FROM HERE: Developers are building a stretch of Overpass Road in Wesley Chapel specifically to get to a new elementary school. It doesn't connect to the rest of the road though, which dead ends about a mile away.

'AVOID COOPER HALL': USF police successfully contacted about 15,000 people who had signed up for emergency alerts, as reports of a gunman on campus came in. It was an out of uniform ROTC cadet carrying a practice rifle. But at least the system works.

LAPTOPS FOR MIGRANTS: Immokalee is using laptops as a tool to help keep migrant kids in school while dealing with the challenges of everyday life, NPR reports.

DIG DEEPER: Florida school district officials make plans to probe employees' backgrounds for past misdeeds as the state's new educator ethics law takes effect July 1, WCTV-Tallahassee reports.

TAKING ADVANTAGE OF DROP PROGRAM: Lee superintendent James Browder steps down for 30 days to care for his ailing father. He'll also then qualify to collect his pension benefits while continuing to work for the system, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

TRYING TO FIRE CREW: A Miami-Dade School Board member continues to press for the ouster of superintendent Rudy Crew, despite criticism from other members, the Miami Herald reports.

SHE'S MASTERED IT: 19-year-old Shayla Simmons becomes the youngest person to receive a master's degree from the University of West Florida, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

BUDGET ROUNDUP: Edison College raises tuition and freezes salaries, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. Indian River raises lunch prices, the Vero Beach Press Journal reports. Broward continues to review its construction plans for possible cuts, the Miami Herald reports. Spending cuts may not ward off layoffs in Flagler, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. New budget projections force Brevard to look at another $10-million in cuts, Florida Today reports.

TO RETAIN OR NOT? THAT AGAIN IS THE QUESTION: A New York school district revives its old retention policy, arguing that giving kids more time and extra help to master academic skills helps them succeed. But critics argue the method, which many districts have abandoned, creates fertile ground for dropouts, the NY Times reports.

MERIT PAY GAINS TRACTION: Prince George's County schools in Maryland offer pricey bonuses to top teachers, as judged by test scores and evaluations, and many teachers are supporting the concept, the Washington Post reports.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:48am]


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