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Vanya Shivashankar, of Olathe, Kan., smiling as she answers her question during the third round of the National Spelling Bee on May 30, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md.  Participants and bee officials say the competition is fairer now that kids are tested on what words mean. But it has also taken some of the drama away from the semifinal rounds. Thirteen-year-old Vanya Shivashankar says she misses the simplicity of the old format, which she called "spelling till you drop.'' Now, there are two semifinal rounds, and test scores determine who makes it to the finals. Vanya was eliminated at that stage last year. [Associated Press]

Vocabulary test takes away some National Spelling Bee drama

WASHINGTON — For viewers of last year's Scripps National Spelling Bee, one of the most surprising results came courtesy of a test nobody saw. Vanya Shivashankar was one of the stars of the show, heavily promoted in ESPN's coverage. Her older sister, Kavya, won the bee in 2009, and the smiling, telegenic Vanya was p …

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  1. Romano: A teachable moment for those class clowns who botched school testing

    K12

    It's an age-old question in education:

    How do you deal with troublemakers in the classroom?

  2. Vocabulary test takes away some National Spelling Bee drama

    K12

    WASHINGTON — For viewers of last year's Scripps National Spelling Bee, one of the most surprising results came courtesy of a test nobody saw.

    Vanya Shivashankar, of Olathe, Kan., smiling as she answers her question during the third round of the National Spelling Bee on May 30, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md.  Participants and bee officials say the competition is fairer now that kids are tested on what words mean. But it has also taken some of the drama away from the semifinal rounds. Thirteen-year-old Vanya Shivashankar says she misses the simplicity of the old format, which she called "spelling till you drop.'' Now, there are two semifinal rounds, and test scores determine who makes it to the finals. Vanya was eliminated at that stage last year. [Associated Press]
  3. High-poverty schools continue to wear on teachers, surveys show

    K12

    TAMPA — School districts offer cash bonuses. They hire teacher coaches. They appeal to the idealism of educators who want to make a difference.

Tampa Bay Times School Search 2015

CAMERON COTTRILL | Times

Families get more choices as Pinellas broadens its school options

The Pinellas County School District is mostly a system of traditional neighborhood schools where students are assigned based on where they live. But you can feel a distinct shift over the p …

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