Thursday, October 29, 2015

After reading the hard copy of your hometown newspaper, please consider "liking" us on Facebook and following us on Twitter. Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry follows.

Senate approves new map

"Florida Senate narrowly approves new Senate map." See also "Senate approves district map in tense session."

Latvala says Gaetz owes Floridians an apology

"A leading candidate to be the next Senate president wants Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, to apologize to the people of Florida for mishandling redistricting efforts in 2012."

Lawmakers convened their third special session on redistricting Monday. A coalition of voters groups had filed suit complaining the Legislature violated an anti-gerrymandering law when they drew new statehouse and congressional districts following the 2010 census. The Senate ended the lawsuit by conceding it had violated the constitution.

Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, said he is surprised that the man who is responsible for the debacle is not being held accountable.

"Latvala: people of Florida owed an apology."

Jeb! Belittles Liberal Arts

"Jeb Bush Has a Bad Habit of Belittling Liberal Arts Degrees, Even Though He Has One."

To Replace Rubio

"Export-Import Bank Factors in Race to Replace Marco Rubio in the Senate."

"What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State"

Marc Caputo: "‘Jedi’ Marco ‘rocked’ Jeb – Hillary’s low-info voters – Naked politics on the beach – SeaWorld’s undue influence? – exploding cigarette threat." "Florida Playbook."

Seminole Tribe sues Florida

"Seminole Tribe sues the state despite progress in gaming talks."

Florida's empty suits debate who is lazier

"Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio at the debate Getty Verbatim: What happened when Jeb and Marco went toe-to-toe last night." See also "Marco Rubio deflects question on missed votes as Jeb Bush goes on attack | Video" and "Fact-checking the Republican CNBC debate."

"The new abolitionists"

"Critics of the Florida Standards Assessment came out in full force to voice their distaste for the statewide education standards at the State Board of Education meeting Wednesday in Orlando."

Wendy Bradshaw, a former Polk County teacher who resigned last week, said she was frustrated that public schools no longer promoted a “love of learning,” instead opting to reinvent the wheel and take a different path.

“Professional educators have been leaving the [education] field at an alarming rate because of these misguided reforms, and that is a problem for you [board members] because your edicts are not what results in student success,” she said. “Teachers, parents and students working together is what results in student success.”

Bradshaw told board members the reason why there was a teacher shortage is because people are “waking up” and realizing the high-stakes testing system is not fair to students.

Similar concerns have led many to join an “opt out” movement which, if successful, would allow parents to withdraw their students from taking the standardized test. Opting out has gathered significant support.

One opt-out parent said Florida was witnessing a “new Jim Crow era” due to high-stakes standardized testing.

“We are the new abolitionists,” she said of her fellow opt-out supporters.

"Opt Out Movement to State Board of Education: Get Rid of the FSA."