Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
- Mahatma Ghandi

Welcome to LIFE of Florida!

Our secular and inclusive Florida-wide Informal Education support group acts as a resource center and clearinghouse for homeschoolers, informal learners and alternative educators interested in enriching their learning environments and maximizing their learning opportunities, as well as an advocacy center for Curiosity Driven Learning.

There is no cost to be part of LIFE of Florida -- just join in at our email discussion and announcement list, Florida LIFE, where you can download your membership card -- good for educational discounts throughout FL -- and stay informed and updated on events, issues and resources, and connect with other informal learners throughout the state.

If you're just getting started in homeschooling, be sure to check out our LIFE of Florida Quick Links, our list of Useful Docs, and our enormous collection of resources in the side columns, and visit our Inclusive Homeschool Support Groups page to find a group near you.

If you'd like your regional inclusive support group to be networked with LIFE of Florida, drop us a line with a group description, contact and other relevant information and we'll add you, free of charge, to our directory. All your group members will be automatically considered members of LIFE of Florida, and are entitled to membership cards and all the benefits we offer. Virtual school families are also welcome to enjoy our resources, support and camaraderie.

We're all inclusive and free of charge, and we're here for you!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Florida Commissioner of Education: Dr. Eric Smith

From The Core: News from the Florida Department of Education



New
Education Commissioner
Dr. Eric J. Smith began his tenure as the new Florida Commissioner of Education in December. The State Board of Education (SBE) voted unanimously to select him to serve as Florida’s chief educational officer responsible for providing full assistance to the SBE in enforcing compliance with the mission and goals of Florida’s K-20 education system.

“Dr. Smith has the skills and experience that Florida’s education system needs, and I look forward to working with him in the future,” said SBE Chairman T. Willard Fair.

Dr. Smith began his career in Florida more than 30 years ago as a classroom teacher. His commitment to affecting positive change in the field of education led him to several administrative positions in Florida school districts and eventually to 16 years of serving as a district superintendent in Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. His goals have remained constant throughout his career: to increase academic achievement of all students and to reduce the disparity in achievement among student subgroups. His success in consistently meeting these goals in individual districts bears testimony to his own passion to change students’ lives, the urgency he brings to the challenges involved, and the leadership he demonstrates in ensuring the involvement of all stakeholders.


Former Commissioner of Education Retires
Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg recently retired from the Florida Department of Education, following more than three decades of service to Florida's education system. Blomberg was appointed Commissioner of Education by a unanimous vote of the State Board of Education in January 2007 after serving as Chief of Staff to then Education Commissioner John Winn.

Under Commissioner Blomberg’s tenure, the Department addressed the variations in the 2006 FCAT third grade reading results and launched an external advisory group to review and analyze Florida’s assessment tool. The Department also launched the www.myfloridateacher.com Web site, established Kindergarten readiness rates and assisted with unveiling the Ready To Work program. For more information on former Commissioner Blomberg, visit www.fldoe.org/news/2007/2007_11_30-2.asp

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