Diane Rado

Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.

Gubernatorial candidate Greene not likely to drop out

By: - August 10, 2018

It isn’t likely that billionaire gubernatorial candidate Jeff Greene will get out of the race for Florida governor, despite demands from the Florida chapter of the National Organization for Women, which is expressing concern by allegations in a 2013 police report. The recently-surfaced report obtained by CBS Miami states that a former hotel cocktail waitress […]

Former U.S. Education Secretary: Harsh words about education but hope from Parkland kids

By: - August 9, 2018

Arne Duncan used to head Chicago’s Public School System and then went on to Washington D.C. to become the U.S. Secretary of Education during President Barack Obama’s administration. He’s now got a new book out (“How Schools Work”) and his frank assessment of the public education system and many of its players is harsh. Basically, […]

bus for free college

Momentum growing for free college tuition in Florida — but will it happen?

By: - August 9, 2018

Last year, Florida state Rep. Shevrin Jones pushed for a free college tuition program statewide – an ambitious plan to cover tuition for low-income and middle-class students earning two and four-year degrees. But within a few months, the proposal was overhauled and then lost steam, failing to get the Legislature’s approval. Jones, a Broward Democrat, […]

Could a tragedy have been thwarted? Nikolas Cruz’s safety net had holes

By: - August 6, 2018

Accused shooter Nikolas Cruz went without school counseling and special education services in the 14 months leading up to the Feb. 14 killings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School – in part because of school district errors, according to a South Florida Sun-Sentinel story. The newspaper account this past weekend was based on a heavily-redacted […]

Florida’s state retirement system isn’t exactly lucrative for women retirees

By: - August 3, 2018

So much has been written and said about unequal pay between men and women that one financial piece of the pie can get overlooked: government pensions. Salaries are a key part in calculating  pensions that state and local employees receive. That means lower pay for women, compared to men, will lead to lower pensions for […]

Dueling doctors, different credentials, in Democratic state Senate primary in North Florida

By: - August 2, 2018

On the “Kayser Enneking for state senate” website, the candidate appears in a typical white doctor’s coat, with a stethoscope around her neck. Move on to the link for “Kayser’s Story” and the first paragraph highlights her profession: “Kayser Enneking, MD, is a mother of two, a lifelong Gainesville resident and longtime UF Health physician.” […]

Women candidates: “That’s what a state senator looks like.”

By: - August 1, 2018

Gainesville anesthesiologist Kayser Enneking remembers watching the crescendo of comments coming from presidential candidate Donald Trump in 2016, spurring her to act. “As he began spewing disgusting, racist, misogynous comments, I thought, ‘If he wins I am going to run for office.’”  And she could count on her first vote: “My husband looked over and […]

Our governor’s secret job

By: - July 27, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott — and the governors before him — has a job. That job is a public job, not a secret job. Yet voters who hired Scott for the top political and government job in Florida for the most part aren’t being told what the governor is doing and where he is all day, […]

Will controversial education amendment get kicked off the ballot? An answer is coming soon.

By: - July 27, 2018

A Leon County circuit court judge is expected to rule Aug. 17 on whether a controversial education amendment should get kicked off the Nov. 6 ballot. But the stakes are so high that the case likely won’t end that day. “I anticipate that this case will ultimately be decided by the Florida Supreme Court,” said […]

To parents: Is your child’s “A” school really excellent? And why are D and F schools so rare?

By: - July 26, 2018

When the Florida Department of Education last month released A through F grades for public schools, 93 percent got As, Bs and Cs, with about a third of schools posting coveted A grades in 2017-18. Adding in the very few Ds and Fs, Florida’s picture of school performance appears lopsided — not like what parents […]

Cash flows into “8isGreat” as battle over public schools – especially charter schools – continues

By: - July 23, 2018

The Republican Party of Florida, investment companies, education groups and fans of charter schools have so far contributed $167,000 to, a political committee pushing to approve a contentious education amendment to the state’s Constitution. The largest contribution was from the Florida GOP — $100,000 on June 13, according to the state’s Division of Elections. […]

chalkboard with writing

Rush job on school safety law causes mental-health conundrum for families, no help from state

By: - July 20, 2018

In the rushed, traumatic days following the February shootings at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, lawmakers scrambled to approve broad gun reforms and new laws to make schools safe. But quick legislation doesn’t always equate to good legislation, says Kenneth Trump, a well-known school security expert and consultant who has testified before Congress. Case […]