Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Blogging Florida

I'm back from Thanksgiving break! I got to argue with my Republican relatives and take my nephew to the Florida Caverns State Park and Wakulla Springs where we saw some manatees. Here's the latest from the Florida blogosphere:

Blogging Project

Florida Progressive over on FLA Politics posted a new project for bloggers: Reporting the State House and Senate Districts

It seems there has been a desire from everyone for more coverage in state politics and elections, rather than federal coverage. I admit I’m unknowing myself in a lot about what goes on in local politics around the state, so that’s why I hope this new project will help increase everyone’s knowledge on this. It is particularly important now as we try to take back at least one of the legislative chambers, so we can get this state back on the right track and just as importantly, so we have a stake in the redistricting process that will shape Florida politics for the next decade.

Here’s the deal. My overall goal is to have a report for every state house and senate district in the state. These reports should include information on the district (demographics, changes in area, past federal and state election results), information on the most recent district election (issues, financial contest, results), information on our 2008 prospects (Is there a challenger….if so, who are they and how is their campaign going?), and any other relevant information on the district.

Florida Primary

ryan t at Daily Kos is angry about the primary mess: I'm not giving them a dime

What do I do? I will tell you what I am doing. I'm not giving them a dime and every time they call I am telling them that outright. I have done it twice now. I stop them dead in their tracks when they start.

CALLER: Hello sir, I am calling on behalf of Joe Candidate. We would like to ask for a donation of $150.

ME: I have a problem. Until the Democratic party decides to solve the issue with the primary voting in Florida, I am not giving a dime to any Democratic candidate. Please convey this message. Thank you.

Oy Vey! I'm as angry about this mess as anyone, but not donating to any Democratic candidate is the wrong approach. If you want to send a message to the DNC, FDP or the presidential candidates ... fine. However, your local and state level Democrats need you now more than ever - send your money to them.

Sunny at Smashed Frog is talking primary too: No Room at the Inn about how the Democratic National Convention hasn't reserved any hotel rooms for Florida's delegates. Presumably we will have hotel rooms, just like our delegates will ultimately be seated, but it'd sure be helpful if they'd stop thumbing their nose at us.


the 13th juror writes: St. Pete fences out homeless rally. Heaven forbid people actually see that homelessness exists.


John P at his own blog writes: Republicans Continue to Push Failed Education Policy

Solochek then points out that Broward superintendent Jim Notter told him “that he believes the state, and not local educators, are responsible for the stress on the FCAT and teaching to the test.” Flores states that districts have taken it upon themselves to develop practice tests, reward students for FCAT performance, etc., and states, “I strongly believe that the stress of the FCAT will be greatly reduced the day we go back to just teaching students, not teaching test takers.”

AMEN, Rep. Flores. And that won’t happen until people like you get a clue. DOE Bureaucrats and legislators like you hung obscenely high stakes on FCAT, not districts. School districts have reacted in predictable fashion to a counter-productive so-called accountability system. This is like beating your children then taking them to task because they act out at school.

Speaking of Education, a reader emailed me a link to this news story out of Port St. Lucie Florida: Where do teachers draw the line when it comes to retraining students? Anna Moore's autistic son was forcefully restrained at the Oak Hammock K-8 school.

The Herald Tribune has an entire series on special needs children: The children left behind: a year in the life of a special needs class.

I stumbled across a new blog - Bob Graham's UWF Civics Education Project - which was established to:

... to encourage young people to become more involved in politics and civic life, rather than just be cynical about such matters. This is a non-partisan blog, aimed at getting students involved in the party of their choice, but to also focus on how they can work together in non-partisan ways, regardless of their individual political views or choice of candidates. The class project is to establish, promote, and implement a series of on campus events to promote voting and civic involvement among college aged youth, as well as to support Senator Graham's goal which is to promote the passage of a state law re-establishing the teaching of civics education in Florida's public schools.