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The Sunshine Economy
1:15 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Video: How A Miami Designer Fashions His Workforce

Designer Rene Ruiz (left) instructs workers on the finer points of dress making.
Credit Tom Hudson

Designing high fashion is an art. So is making those designs into dresses.

Designer Rene Ruiz does both from a low-slung building in Hialeah. His factory is tucked in with furniture makers and hurricane shutters installers. About 50 people work there making dresses for Ruiz's well-heeled clients in South Florida and for his dresses destined for Neiman Marcus stores.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Fashion

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Teaching
11:12 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Classroom Contemplations: Little Books, Big Statement

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 12:00 pm

Ms. Roberts left teaching ten years ago, but she remembers very clearly a day in class that changed her and her students.

It was her first year and she was teaching English to over two hundred kids a day in Room 100, also known as “the Pit.”  The name came from the fact that her class was where several other Language Arts teachers had transferred challenging students.

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

What The Departure Of Education Chief Tony Bennett Means For Florida Schools

Tony Bennett served less than 8 months as Florida's Education Commissioner before a scandal involving the grading of an Indiana charter school let him to resign.
Credit Florida Department of Education

On The Florida Roundup: Our state's leadership goes through more upheaval, this time with the resignation of Education Commissioner Tony Bennett. He will be the fifth education head (including interims) to depart in the 31 months since Governor Rick Scott took office.

Why has there been so much turnover? What impact does the latest change have on students and teachers? 

Plus: the Hialeah shooting drew national attention again to gun deaths in our state.  We look at what factors - or at least correlations - can be gleaned about violence and gun ownership. 

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Politics
8:22 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Bennett Resignation Buoys Critics Of Testing

Tony Bennett
Credit Florida Department of Education

For the third time in Gov. Rick Scott's two-and-a-half years as governor, there is no permanent leader in place for the Department of Education.

Departures are nothing new for the Scott administration. At least 11 department heads during Scott's term have resigned; the governor is also on his third chief of staff and is still looking for a replacement for Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll.

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Politics
5:48 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Florida's Education Chief Resigns Over Grading Scandal

Florida's former Commissioner of Education Tony Bennett.
Florida Department of Education

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:01 pm

In education circles, Tony Bennett is widely known as a hard-charging Republican reformer associated with Jeb Bush's prescriptions for fixing public schools: charter schools, private school vouchers, tying teacher pay to student test scores and grading schools on a A through F scale.

Bennett resigned from his post as Florida's education chief this morning when a controversy over the last of those things — the school grades — caught up with him.

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Politics
12:32 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett Resigns

Tony Bennett

Update 2:24 p.m.: Florida is looking for a new education commissioner. Tony Bennett resigned today – effective immediately – after just six months on the job.

Allegations surfaced this week that Bennett changed the school grading system in Indiana to benefit a campaign contributor while he served as that state's elected superintendent.

Bennett said the allegations were unfounded, but he decided to step down because they had become a distraction.

Senate Education Committee Chairman John Legg says Bennett did the right thing.

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Politics
11:33 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Archive: A Conversation With Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett

NEW EDUCATION COMMISSIONER: Tony Bennett was Superintendent of Public Instruction in Indiana for one term. He lost his re-election bid in November 2012, and was appointed Florida's schools chief by Gov. Rick Scott.
Credit Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana

Editor's Note:   Shortly after Tony Bennett began as the state's Education Commissioner last December, he sat down with WLRN's former StateImpact reporter Sarah Gonzalez.  They talked about his time as head of Indiana's school system and what plans he had for Florida's.  

Tony Bennett drove from Indiana over the weekend to start his first day as schools chief in Florida on Monday.

Last month the State Board of Education hired Bennett, a Republican who served as Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction for one term.

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Politics
11:24 am
Thu August 1, 2013

The School At The Heart Of Bennett Controversy: The Philanthropy And Philosophy Of Christel DeHaan

Christel DeHaan
Credit Matt Detrich / Indianapolis Star

Editor's Note:  On Monday, the Associated Press published emails from 2012 showing former Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett and his staff in Indiana discussing how to change that state's grading formula to boost the grade of an Indianapolis charter school run by a prominent Republican donor.

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Politics
11:12 am
Thu August 1, 2013

A Look At The Indiana Charter School At The Center Of Tony Bennett's Resignation

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 10:42 am

Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett is expected to resign today after the Associated Press published emails this week showing he and staff worked to change the state’s grading system in 2012, which boosted a charter school’s grade.

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