News & Public Affairs


Controversial teacher pay and tenure bill passes Florida Senate listen

03/10/11 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Last year former governor Charlie Crist vetoed a bill doing away with teacher tenure and linking teacher pay to student test scores. The state Senate passed a modified version of the bill today, and the governor is almost certain to sign it into law.

Supporters say it’s a much needed – if imperfect – kick start to education reform. Opponents say it places student success squarely on the shoulders of teachers. Senate Bill 736 passed pretty much along party lines. The exceptions were D...

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Local teachers rally to demand an end to systematic dismantling of public education

03/04/11 Lisa Marzilli, Beth Bell
Last Call Friday
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On today’s Last Call we spoke with teachers who were attending one of several rallies that took place in Pinellas County on Friday afternoon. They’re demanding an end to the defunding and dismantling of public education as well as the scapegoating of teachers that’s going on in Florida and across the US.

Florida ranked 37th in average teacher pay for the last school year and is expected to plummet to No. 47 in the nation according to a new report from the National Education Assoc...

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Energy efficient buildings and schools

01/24/11 Jon Butts
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Friday)
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On today’s program we talked with a couple of the best green contractors in our area. The Learning Gate Charter School in Lutz just received its Platinum LEED certification from the US Green Building Council, and last year installed a 5 KW solar electric grid-tie System.

Charles Girard, the teaching contractor on the project, joined the program with the head of the environmental department, Adam, and two really sharp students attending the school, Demonte and Shelby.

Also joinin...

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School officials from all over Florida "Lead The Way" listen

01/20/11 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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School Superintendents and Teacher’s Association Presidents from all over the state met yesterday and today to discuss the future plans for education reform. The “Leading the Way” conference addressed some tough issues.

Florida Schools are facing a series of uncertain changes in the coming months and years with the arrival of an all new Rick Scott-led administration. School officials made certain they were ready for the changes by proposing one very dominant theme. Randi Weingarten,...

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Pinellas schools superintendent weighs in on Scott, vouchers listen

01/14/11 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Florida governor Rick Scott appears to have put education reform at the top of his list. Public educators throughout the Sunshine state aren’t gung-ho about how he wants to tackle education woes, but the head of Pinellas County Schools says the governor might not get too far.

In Pinellas Park last night, Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Julie Janssen told a banquet hall full of card-carrying Pinellas Democrats that politics really ar...

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The Rick Scott Era: What can we expect?

01/06/11 Mitch Perry
Last Call Thursday
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Our first Last Call program focused on the new Rick Scott tenure beginning in Florida.

In the studio we had St. Petersburg Democrat House Representative Rise Kriseman, and on the phone we had Chuck Kiker talking about Scott's "Vouchers for all" plan. Kiker is with the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association.

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Science Challenge 2011

12/27/10 Dawn Morgan Elliott
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Former physicist Jeff Shaumeyer worried about American culture excluding the sciences. So in 2004, he began a company called Ars Hermenuetica in an effort to encourage science literacy.

Shaumeyer implemented the Science Reading challenge a few years later, an attempt to inspire average Americans to read popular science.

"It came about when I noticed some online blogging fri...

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Rick Scott: Maybe some day, vouchers for all Florida students listen

12/09/10 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Today at a large church in St. Petersburg, Governor-elect Rick Scott shared the stage with three corporate executives. They were touting Step Up for Students, a tax credit scholarship that funds Florida’s school voucher program, but it didn’t take long for politics to creep in.

It’s one of those events where people in tailored suits hand off gigantic checks to nonprofit heads whilst surrounded by less fortunate beneficiaries. The nonprofit in question is Step Up for Students, which m...


The Great American Teach-In aims to showcase careers despite pallid job market listen

11/18/10 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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It’s not often that you’ll find an artist, a banker, and an archaeologist talking shop under one roof. Today at schools throughout Pinellas County, the Great American Teach-In brought professionals from a broad range of fields into classrooms to teach students about life on the career path. This comes at a time when many students are personally experiencing the ravages of a gutted job market.

Any generation that came of age after World War II but before the millennium was brought up wi...


Pinellas schools consider swapping fundamental, Montessori programs listen

11/09/10 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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It’s no secret that many public schools in Florida are disappointing at best. The Pinellas County School Board is trying to makes some tweaks to the system to boost results, but one of these changes has two South Pinellas communities up in arms. Deputy Superintendent Jim Madden says the draft of the county’s Student Achievement Proposal takes a long view of student success.

"We're trying to look at our district from say, like the 30,000 foot level, and saying 'how are we structured sc...

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