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Today on Context Florida: Standardized testing, Witham Field, Orlando culture and technology & education

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Today on Context Florida:

It is almost time to let the tilt-a-whirl of state standardized testing spin anew, says Shannon Nickinson. Escambia County students will soon begin Florida Standards Assessment testing in reading and mathematics. When students took the writing test earlier this month, technical problems caused the Escambia School District to suspend testing for three consecutive days. And the problems weren’t just in the Pensacola metro area. Districts all over the state reported similar problems. If you think that was bad, just wait, folks.

A controversial $1.6 million customs facility business owners wanted Martin County to build and operate at Witham Field is dead, says Sally Swartz. Commissioner Anne Scott, once again the swing vote on an issue that has been before commissioners eight times, listened to residents who were worried about construction costs. Financial realities, Scott said, made the new commission cautious “about committing public funds for private interests.”

According to Alaina Bernard, assistant director of Landscape & Natural Resources at UCF, Orlando culture is forming stepping-stones for the future. She invites us to create our identity as one focused on building a multigenerational community. Let us center our attention on increasing neighborhoods with parks and children playing in them, activity centers for young and aged to socialize and learn from each other, with festivals that bring us together as one community, celebrating our region.

Catherine Martinez notes the problems Florida schools suffered after glitches halted administration of computerized state tests highlighted the intimate relationship between education and technology.

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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