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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Summitteer seeks Republican input before heading to education confab



About 40 education, civic and government leaders head to Clearwater this afternoon to begin a three-day conversation about the future of Florida's education accountability system.

At least one of them has turned to the Internet to do his homework.

Joe Gruters, listed as a Sarasota CPA on Gov. Rick Scott's invitee list, sent out a blast e-mail to Republican Party of Sarasota County members, telling them he's been asked to attend the event and seeking their input. "In order to ensure that I am as best prepared as possible, I'd appreciate you sharing any feedback that you may have on on the issues listed above, the hot topic of "Common Core" or any other topics associated with education," wrote Gruters, who also is the group's chairman.

Of course, the Common Core has created much angst in the party, with folks like Jeb Bush backing the national standards and the tea party wing that has supported Scott fighting to kill the Core. One Sarasota state lawmaker has publicly announced his intention to get Florida out of the initiative, set to take full hold in 2014, during the next legislative session. Even some liberals are opposing the Core, but largely they've been watching their opponents fight.

Want to see how the conversation goes in Clearwater? Others on the attendance list include Core backers such as Sen. John Thrasher, a member of Florida Parents Against Common Core, and representatives of groups including Florida PTA and the Florida School Boards Association. You can watch starting at 1 p.m. on the Florida Department of Education website. In the meantime, what advice do you have for Gruters?

[Last modified: Monday, August 26, 2013 6:18am]


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