Gov. Rick Scott today directed state education officials to withdraw from a national testing consortium designed to evaluate how Florida students perform under the new Common Core standards for math and reading. Scott’s action comes following an education summit and after mounting criticism from conservative groups, including Tea Party activists, over the Common Core standards, which opponents say could lead to a greater federal role in state schools. More from the Times/Herald and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Coy Koontz Jr. persisted in a lawsuit against the St. Johns River Water Management District that his late father initiated. » Story here
[Photo: George Skene/Orlando Sentinel]
Coy A. Koontz was a Florida businessman who purchased 15 mostly swampy acres in east Orange County. In 1994, Koontz proposed a subdivision on 3.7 acres of the property. He was willing to deed the remainder of the land into a conservation area, but balked when the St. Johns River Water Management District imposed another condition. Koontz sued, setting forth a 20-year legal battle that’s still not over. Full story.
Imagine Florida with slot machines at several dog tracks, intended to lure Georgians to Jacksonville, Alabamans to Pensacola, high rollers to Palm Beach and race fans to Daytona. That is one of the ideas gaining steam in Tallahassee as gaming promoters plan ways to expand Florida’s gambling empire in exchange for closing loopholes that have exploded over the past few years. [Source: Times/Herald]
Florida's monthly unemployment rate dipping in August from 7.1 to 7 percent is hardly a jawdropping change but at least moves us in the right direction. Here are 10 quick peeks behind these numbers to offer a broader sense of what's happening in the job markets. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Florida’s education commissioner faces unique pressure. The position reports to the State Board of Education, but must also deal with the governor, lawmakers, school district leaders, education businesses and parents. [Source: StateImpact Florida]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Citing 'abuse,' Disney theme parks will change rules for disabled visitors [Orlando Sentinel]
The Walt Disney Co.'s U.S. theme parks plan to stop offering unlimited front-of-the-line access to disabled park visitors, in a bid to prevent abuses by travelers who exploited the program by hiring disabled tour guides to pose as family members.
› In Florida, navigators will undergo state scrutiny [Times/Herald]
As the Oct. 1 rollout of the new health insurance marketplace draws near, the controversy over the insurance outreach workers known as navigators is building to a crescendo in Florida. But is the outcry warranted — or political theater aimed at hampering the Affordable Care Act?
› Broward high school culinary students hone their craft [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
South Florida hoteliers and restaurateurs want to spread the word to more high school students about a program that's helping students like James Graham realize his career goal. "I want to be a master chef," said Graham, 17, a participant in the ProStart School-to-Career food service curriculum offered in more than 20 Broward County high schools.
› Strong August for South Florida hotels [Miami Herald]
August brought big year-over-year boosts in business for South Florida hotels. According to data released recently by Smith Travel Research, hotels throughout the region posted gains in occupancy, rates and per-room revenue compared to August of 2012.
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› Florida TechXpo coming to Florida Tech in October [Florida Today]
The event is an exposition of the technology and innovations created by 100 national and international technology and manufacturing companies, and support organizations throughout Florida. These firms will display their products and services to other companies looking for resources and suppliers.
› Apparel business targets sports fans [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
After spending many years conducting marketing and corporate sponsorship for businesses such as Foot Locker, the National Football League and VIBE Magazine, Boca Raton resident Gary R. Lewis has launched his own business, HybrID Sports America.
› Scientific drone missions tested in Keys sanctuary [AP]
Federal officials have been testing the use of drones for monitoring environmental conditions and wildlife in marine sanctuaries, including the one off the Florida Keys.
› Three simple steps to improve your LinkedIn effectiveness [South Florida Business-Journal]
Just like any other business tool, LinkedIn doesn't work by itself. Simply building a LinkedIn profile doesn't automatically lead to results. One of the most important pieces of advice for an individual or business interested in LinkedIn is to be strategic with your use of LinkedIn.