USF students to rally in solidarity with Mizzou

On Thursday afternoon USF students will rally in support of students at the University of Missouri who have faced threats of violence after the school’s president and provost resigned in response to student protests; black students organized the Mizzou demonstrations because they felt the administration was not doing enough to fight racism on campus. Nia Knighton… Read more »

How schools should discipline problem students; Koch brothers’ image make-over

By Rob Lorei A video depicting a South Carolina school resource officer slamming a female student to the ground last week has triggered a national conversation on how educators should handled troubled students. Joining in the conversation with us today are Joe Rutherford and Roaya Tyson from Grace Point, a mental health clinic in Tampa… Read more »

April Griffin. WMNF

Hillsborough Schools testing buses fueled by propane

The Hillsborough County public school district is updating an aging school bus fleet by purchasing new vehicles; and part of that push is testing buses that run on an alternative fuel: propane. Recently WMNF News spoke about this with School Board Member April Griffin. “We’re going to be looking at multiple manufacturers of buses. We’re also looking… Read more »

US Department of Education lambastes Pinellas County for educational disparities

Last Friday afternoon U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Campbell Park Elementary, one of the South Saint Petersburg schools singled out in a Tampa Bay Times investigation noting severely underperforming schools. Outgoing US secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, emphasized the educational disparity in Pinellas schools is man made. Duncan opines that probable causes were… Read more »

April Griffin. WMNF

Hillsborough Schools using temp agency for substitute teachers

This year signs have popped up in front of schools in Hillsborough County by a large temporary work agency seeking teachers; does this mean there’s a major teacher shortage? This week WMNF News put that question to School Board member April Griffin, who said the district is always looking to hire new teachers but they’ve… Read more »

Congressman Alan Grayson talks foreign policy, declining middle class

By Rob Lorei On today’s Radioactivity, Host Rob Lorei interviews Congressman (D-Orlando) Alan Grayson, who is  running for the democratic nomination for  the US senate. Grayson speaks on a variety of topics such as  the ongoing Planned Parenthood controversy, the Iran deal and 9/11 comission, illegal immigration, the declining middle class and supports expansion for social security and… Read more »

April Griffin. WMNF

Hillsborough Schools dealing with fewer Gates dollars than expected

The Hillsborough School Board is having a budget workshop Tuesday and it’s trying to figure out how to fill some budget gaps. One issue is that county schools will get much less from a major grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation than expected. WMNF News spoke with School Board member April Griffin during a break in… Read more »

The 30 million word gap between rich and poor children; Local charity helps displaced Haitian Dominicans

    Today we look at the latest research in early childhood development with Dr. Dana Suskind, founder and director of the Thirty Million Words Initiative at the University of Chicago. ‘Thirty Million Words’ to a 1995 study that found that children from affluent backgrounds are exposed to over 30 million more words than low-income children by… Read more »

Fight for 15 activists and elected officials discuss low wages of child care workers

Last night local elected officials and minimum wage advocates met at the Seminole Heights Library in Tampa for a dialogue on the poverty-level wages of childcare workers. The town hall meeting was held by the local fight for 15 chapter, which is part of a national movement for a 15 an hour minimum wage. The… Read more »

Florida This Week looks at congressional maps mess; Bush v. Trump on immigration

By Rob Lorei Today we listen back on the latest Florida this week from local PBS station WEDU, a political discussion show moderated by Radioactivity host Rob Lorei. This week’s panelist ( 70th district rep. Darryl Rouson, Political Consultant Adam Goodman,  Former TV Reporter and Documentary filmmaker Lynn Marvin Dingfelder, New College Professor Frank Alcock) look… Read more »

Advocates demand reversal of Hillsborough County’s “no go” on expanded free school meals

Proponents demand child nutrition programs in Hillsborough County schools are extended and expanded. Earlier this week, several activists gathered near Miles Elementary in East Tampa on the first day of school. They were drawing attention to the need for school children to be fed before their learning day starts. Hillsborough lags behind much of Florida… Read more »

Florida this week looks at impasse over new congressional map, Clinton’s slipping poll numbers

Today we listen to the latest edition of WEDU’s Florida this Week, a political talk show moderated by Radioactivity host Rob Lorei. This week’s panel of political experts offer up analysis and insight on the biggest stories from Tallahassee and around the state: another deadlock between the state legislative chambers over the redrawing of the congressional map,… Read more »

Kathy Castor at USF

Low-performing Pinellas schools prompts Castor letter to feds

Tampa-area Congress member Kathy Castor has written to the U.S. Department of Education asking them to look at how the Pinellas County School District is spending federal money that is supposed to go to schools in high-poverty areas; it’s in response to an investigation by the Tampa Bay Times finding that five south St. Petersburg… Read more »

‘Failure Factories’ reporters discuss Times’ series on failing schools in Pinellas

On Today’s Radioactivity, Host Rob Lorei speaks with Lisa Gartner and Michael LaForgia, two reporters who worked on the Tampa Bay Times investigative series “Failure Factories”, which chronicles the fallout from a 2007 decision by the Pinellas School Board to end school integration efforts. This led to the steady decline of 5 elementary schools in South Pinellas. They are… Read more »

Rene Flowers

Pinellas School Board member reacts to Times report

This week the Tampa Bay Times began publishing results of an investigation into several low-performing elementary schools called “Why Pinellas County is the worst place in Florida to be black and go to public school.” In 2007 Pinellas schools turned back racial integration policies and started to become more segregated. Since then the investigation found… Read more »

La Gaceta Publisher Patrick Mantaiga tackles five issues affecting Hillsborough and Tampa

Today on Radioactivity, Host Rob Lorei talks with Patrick Mantaiga, publisher of trilingual newspaper La Gaceta. In a column published last week, Mantaiga addressed five contentious issues affecting Hillsborough County and Tampa: the formula for increased stormwater tax which he says unfairly affects the poor and nonprofits, the  spending of more than half of the Hillsborough… Read more »

photo of books, schools, education

Hillsborough teachers union: state needs to do more to help failing schools

This week the Hillsborough County School Board approved a new principal of Sligh Middle School in Tampa’s northeast Seminole Heights. It’s the fourth principal of the F-rated school in five years. To find out why some schools can’t shake the failure label and what more could be done, WMNF interviewed Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins. She’s executive director… Read more »