Florida roundup: Tony Bennett, voucher testing, Newtown reverberations & more

Andy Ford
Andy Ford

Not the best fit. Andy Ford, president of the Florida teachers union, says in this Q&A with the Orlando Sentinel that Tony Bennett is “the best fit for the Jeb Bush power structure, but not the best choice for Florida’s students, parents and school employees.” Board of Education member Kathleen Shanahan cites the PIRLS results in responding to a critical editorial about Bennett in the Tampa Bay Times.

Conflicts of interest? Three Board of Education members contributed to Tony Bennett’s campaign in Indiana. Gradebook.

Rick Scott is right to require students with vouchers and tax credit scholarships to take the same standardized tests as their public school peers, writes Adam Emerson at Choice Words.

In the wake of Newtown. Security beefed up at Florida schools: Tampa Bay Times, South Florida Sun Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Lakeland Ledger. Beneath the surface, emotional scars, reports the Miami Herald. State Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, and the author of the “stand your ground” law, says schools would be safer if teachers and principals could bring guns, reports the Sarasota Herald Tribune. More from Orlando Sentinel, Fort Myers News Press, Naples Daily News, Florida Today.

Remediation series. StateImpact Florida.

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at rmatus@stepupforstudents.org or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at facebook.com/redefinedonline.