Jeffrey S. Solochek - Education reporter

Education reporter

I've been an education reporter for more than 25 years, in Illinois, Texas and Florida. Why stick with it? Because I see education as key to our community, whether it's about children learning, teachers and staff working, or residents seeking the best for their tax dollars. Our school systems are critical to our society, and I strive to tell you what's going on there. I've worked at the Tampa Bay Times since 2000, covering statewide education issues as well as the districts in Hernando, Hillsborough and Pasco counties. Think I've missed something? Send your ideas my way. I read all my emails.

  1. Century Tower sits at the heart of the University of Florida campus in Gainesville. Officials aim to have students back on state university campuses in the fall. [University of Florida]
  2. Pasco County schools have won top honors from College Board for improved participation and performance in AP courses and exams.
  3. In-person student ACT testing is set to resume in some schools in June.
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  5. Students from several Pasco County high schools performed "Pomp and Circumstance" from home for the district's several virtual graduation ceremonies. [Pasco County Schools]
  6. Several schools will allow students on campus in mid-June to take the ACT test, which has not been available since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
  7. "I just feel emotionally numb," says Anna Nelson, 18, as she cleans out her locker at Sunlake High School Tuesday. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Times]
  8. Sunlake High School senior Anna Nelson, 18, returns textbooks after cleaning out her locker Tuesday. Students hadn't been inside the school since spring break in March because of COVID-19. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Times]
  9. Peyton Bouret and her stepmother, Tina Lawrence Bouret, on a ZOOM call after Peyton's last speech therapy session at Woodmont Charter School. [MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times]
  10. A Pasco County report card [Pasco County Schools]
  11. Colleen Wilkinson and Amy Haskedakes are newly appointed Pasco County principals. [Pasco County school district]
  12. Retired principal for Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School, Teresa Anderson, points to Pinellas Secondary principal Darren Hammond during a surprise caravan in his honor due to his upcoming retirement at the end of June, on Thursday, May 21, 2020 in St. Petersburg.  [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times]
  13. The screen students see when they log in to take the Florida Standards Assessments. The exams were canceled for spring 2020, prompting some to suggest they might not be needed at all.
  14. Classroom teachers received a 120-day waiver of fees to renew their credentials this year. The state ended the offer about two months early.  [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  15. This year's AP testing was far from standardized, with students taking them from home instead of school. A group has filed a class action lawsuit against the College Board.  [Times file photo, 2004]
  16. Workers scour a Wesley Chapel High School classroom after Hurricane Irma evacuees left the campus in 2017. Will schools need deep cleans like this daily if they reopen during Covid-19? [JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK  |  Times]
  17. A Blake High senior takes a practice AP economics test in the days when the tests were administered on paper. Because of the coronavirus crisis, the tests are being administered online, resulting in glitches that have prevented thousands of students from submitting answers. A class action lawsuit was filed Wednesday demanding that the answers be accepted and graded. [Times (2004)]
  18. Expanding natural defenses against beach erosion, like these sea oats at Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin, figures prominently in suggestions from Hillsborough high school seniors in essays they wrote about climate change.
  19. University of South Florida students are seen walking around campus at USF on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. Officials are making plans for students to return after Covid-19 closed the school for spring and summer 2020. [Times (2018)]
  20. Incumbent Kurt Browning, left, faces challenges from Hudson High principal Dave LaRoche and Bayonet Point Middle teacher Cynthia Thompson in the 2020 race for Pasco schools superintendent. [Photos courtesy of the candidates]
  21. Clearwater Tornadoes wide receiver Keedrik Murray (5) catches the ball for a touchdown during the first quarter at Gaither High School in Tampa, Florida on Friday, November 15, 2019.  [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
  22. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, right, speaks at a news conference during the new coronavirus pandemic, Thursday, May 14, 2020, in Doral, Fla. He's expected to offer more news on reopening the state in Jacksonville on Friday. [LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP]
  23. Aaron Corrales, 10, left, talks with his fifth-grade teacher Jessica Morgan about the book Esperanza Rising. Florida teachers will get more time to renew their professional credentials, including certification and reading endorsements, because Covid-19 has postponed the classes they need. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
  24. Maisyn Strowbridge, 4, (right) sings while building a snowman Florida style during a special winter activity held at the Pasco Learning and Activity Center of Enrichment (PLACE) at Fox Hollow Elementary School in Port Richey. Also pictured are Myrah Almestica, 4, (left) and Alexandra Evelyn, 4, (center). PLACE, shuttered since spring break, is on track to reopen for summer 2020 with added safety precautions. [MICHELE MILLER  |  Times]