Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


UPDATE: Every morning we review and individually digest Florida political news articles, editorials and punditry. Our sister site, FLA Politics was selected by Campaigns & Elections as one of only ten state blogs in the nation
"every political insider should be reading right now."

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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a semi-daily basis we scan Florida's major daily newspapers for significant Florida political news and punditry. We also review the editorial pages and political columnists/pundits for Florida political commentary. The papers we review include: the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Naples News, Sarasota Herald Tribune, St Pete Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Tallahassee Democrat, and, occasionally, the Florida Times Union; we also review the political news blogs associated with these newspapers.

For each story, column, article or editorial we deem significant, we post at least the headline and link to the piece; the linked headline always appears in quotes. We quote the headline for two reasons: first, to allow researchers looking for the cited piece to find it (if the link has expired) by searching for the original title/headline via a commercial research service. Second, quotation of the original headline permits readers to appreciate the spin from the original piece, as opposed to our spin.

Not that we don't provide spin; we do, and plenty of it. Our perspective appears in post headlines, the subtitles within the post (in bold), and the excerpts from the linked stories we select to quote; we also occasionally provide other links and commentary about certain stories. While our bias should be immediately apparent to any reader, we nevertheless attempt to link to every article, column or editorial about Florida politics in every major online Florida newspaper.


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The Blog for Saturday, December 23, 2006

Our Education Governor

    Jebbie's vaunted education program:
    Last year, Florida's high school graduation rate went down and the dropout rate went up. In Florida, as in most states, the problem is even worse than official statistics portray because graduation rates routinely are inflated.

    Education Commissioner John Winn said last week that the state's graduation rate fell to 71 percent from 71.9 percent. If roughly 30 percent of students weren't graduating, that would be bad enough. But an independent report last summer from the Education Research Center, financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, pegged Florida's graduation rate at 57.5 percent and the national rate at 69.6 percent. Those figures are based on 2002-2003 data, but they help explain the gap between what states report and the real graduation rates. ...

    An inflated and declining graduation rate is more evidence that, despite eight years of Gov. Bush's fixation on the FCAT, Florida's high schools still are not adequately preparing students for good jobs or advancement to college. ...

    Florida ranks near the bottom nationally in most educational measures, including graduation rate, teacher pay and per-pupil spending. FCAT-based grades have not proved to be the solution. Gov. Bush's push this year to make high school students declare a "major," like his eight-year fixation on creating voucher programs with no academic accountability, is similarly gimmicky. To do better, Gov.-elect Charlie Crist will have to graduate to education policies that rely less on flash and punishment and more on dollars and substance.
    "By padding grad rates, state ducks a problem".

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