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Thomas C. Tobin, Times Staff Writer

Thomas C. Tobin

Tom Tobin is Assistant Metro Editor / Education, Health & Medicine at the Tampa Bay Times. He has worked at the Times since 1988, serving much of that time as a government reporter. He also has reported on the Church of Scientology periodically since 1996.

As the Times' state reporter, he covered the 2000 presidential recount in Florida and wrote about subsequent efforts to retool the state's election machinery. From 2003 to 2009, he covered education, focusing on school board issues, school finance, the achievement gap and desegregation.

Born in St. Louis, Mo., he lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Kathleen, and their three children.

Phone: (727) 893-8923

Email: tobin@tampabay.com

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  1. Florida education news: Catholic school enrollment, a third-grade snafu, useful research and more

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    UPSWING: The Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg is bucking national trends with increasing enrollment, and its new school superintendent aims to keep it that way.

    TESTING NEWS: A glitch involving the state's third-grade reading test at a Duval County elementary school puts at least one student in limbo, the Florida Times-Union reports....

  2. Holiday greetings, and some thoughts about the abbreviated summer

    Blog

    Happy Fourth of July, dear readers. Our daily roundup of Florida education news will resume on Tuesday. But before we go, a few musings as this holiday weekend puts us about halfway through the very short summer of 2016.

    The other day, we stumbled on this page, which contains a spreadsheet titled "2016-17 School District Calendars" published by the Florida Department of Education. It's accompanied by a summary, which says: “Students in 40 of the 75 school districts will begin the 2016-17 school year in Florida as early as August 10, 2016. There are 23 districts that will begin on August 15, 2016, with the latest start date on August 22, 2016.”...

  3. Florida education news: School grading concerns, a rogue charter operator and more

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    DOWNGRADED: Educators across Florida are worried that school grades, due out this month, will be lower because of the state's new, tougher rating system, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The paper also reports on a new adult education center in South Apopka and salaries totaling nearly $220,000 for the Orange County school system's new media relations staff....

  4. Florida education news: A hiring scandal, a heated impasse, a busy school board election and more

    Blog

    MEA CULPA: The University of South Florida fires the leader of its advertising and mass communications school and makes changes after an independent review uncovers a serious lapse in the hiring process.

    AT ODDS: Emotions simmer as the St. Johns County School Board, working into Friday morning, sides with its administration during an impasse hearing. The district and teachers union are headed back to the bargaining table, the St. Augustine Record reports....

  5. Florida education news: UCF's downtown campus, one high school's botched exams and more

    Blog

    TAKING SHAPE: The University of Central Florida chooses a team to design and construct its $60 million campus in downtown Orlando, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

    FLUBBED: Newly released documents shed more light on a testing mistake last month that caused more than 300 AP exams to be invalidated at Orange County's Lake Nona High School, the Orlando Sentinel reports....

  6. Florida education news: Pinellas changes direction, Hillsborough shakes it up, Broward offers a big new benefit and more

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    NEW FOCUS: Pinellas County school officials unveil a strategic plan that puts more emphasis on helping minority students.

    FRESH START: In a milestone moment for his still-new administration, Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins announces a major shake-up of the district's top leadership....

  7. Florida education news: Fears of a contentious transgender debate, Alachua's new interim leader and more

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    BACKING AWAY: The Hillsborough County School Board, citing fears of a contentious meeting, cancels a scheduled vote on adding protections for transgender students.

    TEMPORARY FIX: The Alachua County School Board appoints a familiar face, Sandy Hollinger, to run the district until its finds a permanent superintendent to replace Owen Roberts, the Gainesville Sun reports....

  8. Florida education news: A Best and Brightest development, search for an interim superintendent and more

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    ANOTHER CHALLENGE: An attorney representing the state teachers union says the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is investigating Florida's controversial Best and Brightest bonus plan, the Naples Daily News reports....

  9. Florida education news: Election developments, teacher hiring and more

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    FULL SLATE: The school board races take shape in Duval County, where 12 candidates are running for four seats, the Florida Times-Union reports.

    TEACHERS WANTED: Volusia County schools are in a hiring mode even as the teachers union is taking legal action against the district, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports....

  10. Florida education news: Charter troubles, expulsions, a nifty school district app and more

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    OUT OF TIME: Pinellas County school officials make a late bid to absorb two troubled charters, but the numbers don't work in the end.

    UPTICK: The Manatee County School Board prepares to expel a middle school student for bringing a BB gun to campus. That will make seven expulsions since August in a district where the last one before that was in 2009, the Bradenton Herald reports....

  11. USF officially reaches a milestone that will push it to the next level

    Blog

    The Florida Board of Governors made it official today, formally designating the University of South Florida as the state's first “emerging preeminent state research university.”

    The board's Strategic Planning Committee gave preliminary approval to the designation earlier this week....

  12. Florida education news: A new chapter waits in Alachua, intriguing candidate in Leon, university performance pay and more

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    FALL OUT: Uncertainty reigns in Alachua County, where the School Board will meet Monday to choose an interim leader after superintendent Owen Roberts resigns, the Gainesville Sun reports.

    NEW WRINKLE: A controversial figure, former principal and whistleblower Woody Hildebrandt, enters the race for Leon County school superintendent, the Tallahassee Democrat reports....

  13. Florida education news: big moment for USF, surprise resignations, the Senate leader's vision and more

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    BIG LEAGUE: The Florida Board of Governors is poised to award “emerging preeminence” status to the University of South Florida in Tampa, bringing the school a step closer to pulling even with UF and FSU.

    SURPRISE: Hernando County deputy superintendent Eric Williams shocks many in the school district by submitting his resignation....

  14. Florida education news: Jeb weighs in, a teacher aims high, budget news and more

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    FAMILIAR FACE: Jeb Bush, the former governor and presidential candidate, talks to redefinED about education politics and “the system.” A podcast.

    HAT IN THE RING: A fifth-grade teacher, Kim Smith, announces her candidacy for school superintendent in Bay County, the Panama City News Herald reports....

  15. Florida education news: A new law, a charter in distress, a key ruling and more

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    LOOKING AHEAD: A new Florida law allowing students to attend any school in the state, provided the school has room, won't take effect until next year. But the complexities have prompted school districts to start planning now.

    TURNAROUND TROUBLES: A charter school that was supposed to be a lifeline for families fleeing sosuth St. Petersburg's troubled elementary schools has performance problems of its own....