New chief, old education game plan

Florida last week tapped its fifth top educator in 18 months: former Indiana school chief, Tony Bennett. Andy Ford, president the state's largest teachers' union, the Florida Education Association, isn't one who's singing the praises of Bennett, who faithfully navigated in the Hoosier State the test-centric accountability FEA has long criticized (We have a conversation with Bennett about his plans in a Front & Center later this week). In an email interview, Editorial Writer Darryl Owens asked Ford about Bennett's hire, teacher accountability and ongoing reforms. Read the Q&A:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/os-ed-front-and-center-andy-ford-121812-20121217,0,2055431.story

 

Three SBOE members gave to Bennett's campaign

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/content/three-florida-state-board-members-gave-bennetts-campaign

 

Shanahan responds to criticism of Bennett
http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/letters/article1266511.ece

 

FEA won't back down on SB 736 lawsuit

News that the state of Florida is arguing that individual teachers have no standing to challenge Senate Bill 736 in court isn't sitting well with the Florida Education Association.  On Monday, the teachers union responded on its website that it will not walk away from the suit, and that it looks forward to fighting the law on its merits rather than on some technicalities. "Unlike the state, FEA looks forward to our day in court," the group proclaimed. "We believe that the courts will agree with us that legislative leaders and the governor went beyond their authority in passing and implementing this law." The arguments could begin as early as next month. Stay tuned.

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/content/fea-wont-back-down-sb-736-lawsuit

 

Revised numbers rate 99.5 percent of Alachua County teachers favorably (Karen McCann quoted)
http://www.gainesville.com/article/20121217/ARTICLES/121219646/1002/news01?Title=Revised-numbers-rate-99-5-percent-of-Alachua-County-teachers-favorably

 

Baxley favors ending ban on guns in schools (Mark Pudlow quoted)
http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_268748/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=8BBX5IBn

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/national/floridas-political-views-on-gun-laws-are-complex-divergent/1266560

http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=30731966

 

Hernando schools increase security (Joe Vitalo quoted)
http://www2.hernandotoday.com/news/news/2012/dec/17/hernando-schools-up-security-following-conn-shooti-ar-584330/

 

Orange County proposes deputies at schools

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-orange-school-resource-officers-20121217,0,1064511.story

 

Group makes grant to engage teachers in meeting new college and career ready standards (Dennis Van Roekel quoted)

http://www.nea.org/home/53899.htm

 

Reconnecting McDowell celebrates progress of first year (Randi Weingarten quoted)
http://leadernet.aft.org/news/article_detail.cfm?ArticleID=3774

 

Online-only university among Florida's options for more distance education

http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/college/online-only-university-among-floridas-options-for-more-distance-education/1266555

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/fl-board-governors-online-20121217,0,5671887.story

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-florida-universities-online-degrees-20121217,0,7713568.story

 

Older, returning students strain Florida’s community and state colleges

https://stateimpact.npr.org/florida/2012/12/17/13th-grade-older-returning-students-strain-floridas-community-and-state-colleges/

 

Lawmaker to pull bill drastically changing Bright Futures

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-bright-futures-bill-withdrawn-20121217,0,4024195.story

 

Florida builders' rich tax loophole hurts local governments

http://www.tampabay.com/news/article1266359.ece

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/article1266515.ece

 

Two sets of rules
http://www.ocala.com/article/20121218/OPINION01/121219725/1008/OPINION?Title=Editorial-Two-sets-of-rules

 

Crist to testify in U.S. Senate about Florida election law

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/crist-to-testify-in-us-senate-about-florida-electi/nTYkP/

 

Q and A with: Charlie Crist

http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=30728421

 

Florida Democratic Party chairman race down to two

http://politics.heraldtribune.com/2012/12/17/florida-democratic-party-chairman-race-down-to-two/

 

Obama’s new offer on fiscal crisis could lead to deal

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/us/politics/president-delivers-a-new-offer-on-the-fiscal-crisis-to-boehner.html

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/article1266514.ece

 

The politics of work
http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/12/3139364/the-politics-of-work.html

 

“Right to work’s” dark side -- low wages, economic decline

http://blog.ourfuture.org/20121217/right-to-works-dark-side-low-wages-economic-decline

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