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Today on Context Florida: education accountability, Miami Gardens, Student loan debt and sagging pants

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Today on Context Florida:

In the second of a two-part series, Julie Delegal examines the move to lower the stakes in Florida’s high-stakes education accountability system, as well as how they got so high in the first place. Republican Rep. Debbie Mayfield of Vero Beach is so frustrated with the entire standards-based accountability system that she wants to give entire school districts the ability to “opt out” of standards-based tests altogether.

Florence Snyder talks of the Miami Gardens police, and its reign of terror in miniature. In 2007, city leaders decided that Miami Gardens, population 110,000, needed its own police department and formed a “specialized unit.” For a brief moment, Snyder says, citizens and taxpayers hoped that a locally focused cop shop would make a dent in the murder rate, which exceeded that of cities many times the size of Miami Gardens. Instead, the police set about making enemies.

The current student loan debt crisis came about due to unscrupulous college recruiters looking to cash in on liberal loans, lack of proper guidance, and often-unrealistic undergraduate expectations, says Marc Yacht. Students must consider their strengths carefully when leaving high school to further their education and skills.

Vanessa Lopez-Littleton writes that the issue of people wearing sagging pants is not about fashion, hopelessness or the historical significance of the trend; it is about black males and the way American society views them. Some argue that if they would pull their pants up, others would respect them. But as many black males – who have never sagged their pants – can attest, they have been disrespected regardless of the anatomical positioning of their pants.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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