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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Today's news



MEET THE LOAFERS: You can tell who they are by their shoes. They talk about girls, not guns. Columnist Ernest Hooper discovers a "gang" at Armwood High that he wouldn't mind having his own son join.

GOODBYE, BLOCK: Block scheduling is disappearing in many Hillsborough County high schools, as superintendent MaryEllen Elia tries to save money by forcing teachers to work the full 300 minutes of their contract. Reporter Saundra Amrhein finds a group of parents who are none too thrilled.

SCIENCE, TOO: As if Florida's school grading system weren't busy enough, the state adds science to the mix this year. Kids have taken the FCAT science test for a while, but now it counts. The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel looks at what some educators are doing to make sure their school grade – that translates into bonuses if it stays high – does not suffer.

MAJOR BORE: While state education officials make a big deal about forcing high school students to declare a "major," some school districts are nonplussed. They say they've been doing much of that, better, for years. Count Palm Beach County in that category, the Palm Beach Post reports.

THAT SEX OFFENDER IS HER DAD: See, it's not just Citrus County that has concerns about whether to allow parents who are sex offenders to volunteer in schools. The New York Times reports about a similar debate in Torrance County, Calif. It's a tough call when you have a "loving parent" who other parents don't trust.

YOU'LL BE HOME WHEN? It has not been the norm to see kids in schools for more hours a day than their parents work. But the extended school day is looking like a blessing in the effort to boost achievement levels of low-performing students, Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews writes. One school he visits has 12-hour days.

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


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