St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Letter to the editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message

Schools must change ways, senator says

Put more focus on what business needs, he tells a consortium.

By Times Staff Writer
Published January 31, 2008


LARGO - The Tampa Bay area is poised to become a statewide leader in education, state Sen. Don Gaetz told a gathering of educators and business leaders at a Wednesday luncheon hosted by the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations.

But if local school districts aren't careful, he told the group that included Hillsborough school superintendent Mary Ellen Elia, that opportunity could slip through their fingers.

"The curriculum we're offering is not based on what the business community needs," said Gaetz, who chairs the Senate Education Committee.

Also problematic, he said, is that educators haven't focused enough attention on career technical education.

The first non-educator to be elected superintendent of the Okaloosa County schools, Gaetz pointed to the district as a model of educational reform. The district was ranked 27th in the state based on FCAT scores when he took over in 2000. After introducing a comprehensive system of career technical education programs, the district rose to No. 1.

[Last modified January 31, 2008, 00:47:21]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters