Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Conversation Transformation: Overcoming Destructive Communication Patterns

Ben E. Benjamin, Ph.D
http://www.conversationtransformation.com

12/18/12 - Tuesday's Topical Currents looks at how we can improve communication skills.  Verbal expert Dr. Ben Benjamin , co-author of CONVERSATION TRANSFORMATION, says there are red flags to notice when conversations take the wrong course.  Complaints and leading questions can start a downhill path.  And “Yes, buts” usually put another person on the defensive.  More information at www.conversationtransformation.com

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Learning Online
12:28 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Florida's 13th University May Be Online Only

CONNECTED LEARNING: Online courses are the first to fill up, experts say.

Florida's next public university could be Online U.

Depending on how the Florida Board of Governors reconciles several issues with  expert recommendations, the Legislature may be asked next year to establish the 13th state university for Internet students only.

The indicators are good for welcome and acceptance by degree-seeking students, according to Gina Jordan's story for StateImpact Florida:

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13th Grade
11:50 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Older, Returning Students Strain Florida’s Community and State Colleges

RE-LEARNING: Chad Carroll, 36, needed to take remedial math classes when he enrolled in Miami Dade College.
Credit Sagette Van Embden / fcir.org

Throughout the Great Recession, laid-off workers have been trying to improve their re-employment prospects with college training.

But, once they enroll at their local community colleges, many are finding that that their math, reading and writing skills have atrophied so much they can't continue at the college level without remedial classes.

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Gun Control
11:09 am
Tue December 18, 2012

How The Newtown Shooting Will Affect Florida's Legislative Agenda

Senate Democratic leader Chris Smith doubts that gun control will be a priority in Session 2013.
Credit Office of State Senator Chris Smith

State Representative Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, says the Newtown shooting should prompt us to re-examine our gun policies - and consider allowing more guns at school.

The Florida Current reports that Baxley, sponsor of the Stand Your Ground law and chair of the House Judiciary Committee, contends:

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Newtown Shootings
9:17 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Florida Political Leaders Offer A Range Of Responses To Newtown School Massacre

THE WEAPON: Is banning rifles such as this model, similar to the one used at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a good idea?

Florida leaders are expressing themselves, although not always clearly, after the elementary school massacre in Newtown last week.

Some Florida Democrats, including Tampa U. S. Rep. Kathy Castor, are calling for new restrictions on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.

Congressman Rich Nugent, a  Republican and former sheriff from Brooksville, says more gun control would be far less useful than identifying and treating mental illness.

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Listen To WLRN Miami Herald News
8:27 am
Tue December 18, 2012

NEWSCAST: Gov. Rick Scott Won't Talk Policy Following Connecticut Tragedy

Gov. Rick Scott's daughter is a teacher.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

Florida's governor is sounding off on the shootings in Connecticut and says he has a personal connection to the tragedy.

Gov. Rick Scott's daughter is a teacher, and he says he has friends who live near Newtown, Connecticut.

But, he says, now is not the time to talk policy.

Hear his comments to reporters in WLRN Miami Herald News:

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13th Grade
8:26 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Why More Florida Students Than Ever Struggle With Math

Wendy Pedroso did well in math classes -- until her first algebra course. Twice as many students at Florida colleges took a remedial math course than took a remedial writing or reading course.
Credit Sagette Van Embden / Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

Wendy Pedroso has never liked math, but for most of elementary school and middle school she got B’s in the subject. It wasn’t until ninth grade at Miami Southwest Senior High School, when Pedroso took algebra, that she hit a wall. In particular, she struggled with understanding fractions.

“I kept getting stuck in the same place,” Pedroso, 20, recalled recently. She failed the class, and worried that she’d never get to go to college. Pedroso sought help from tutors, took algebra again over the summer and passed. She went on to graduate from high school in 2011.

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Listen To WLRN Miami Herald News
8:03 am
Tue December 18, 2012

NEWSCAST: Florida Politicians Speak Out On Gun Control After Deadly School Shooting

Florida is close to handing out 1 million concealed weapons permits.
Credit Bar Jack/Flickr

State leaders are reacting to the tragedy in Connecticut that left 20 children dead.

Some are calling for more gun control, while others would like to see more people armed.

And as you might imagine, they're split among party lines.

We break down their responses in WLRN Miami Herald News:

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News
7:05 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

NEWSCAST: Governor Rick Scott Reacts To CT School Shootings

Credit FlickR/Gage Skidmore

Governor Rick Scott is talking about the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut last week that took the lives of twenty children and six adults at an elementary school. 

Scott told the Herald/Times Tallahassee bureau his job includes taking care of 19 million people in the state, and he wants to keep them safe.

"You stop and say, 'Why do these things happen? What is the logical thing to do?' But I think right now the biggest thing is to be caring about all these families."

Scott is caring about these families because of his own personal reasons. 

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Affordable Care Act
3:10 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Why The Health Care Law Might Leave Florida's Undocumented In A Lurch

Undocumented workers in Florida won't benefit from all health care reform measures.
Credit ernstl /Flickr

As state and federal lawmakers roll out and implement the health care reform law over the next few years,  millions of people living in the U.S. who didn't have health insurance will gain insurance. However, in a state like Florida, thousands of people won't be included in those changes-- and that is because they are undocumented.

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