HERE'S AN ODDITY FOR FLORIDA: Pinellas superintendent Clayton Wilcox plans to recommend closing several schools, as the county enrollment shrinks. The problem, he says, is not necessarily too many open schools, but the ability to run them properly as revenue declines.
WHAT THEY WANT: Hillsborough school teachers head to the bargaining table with the administration, and aside from the usual desire for higher pay, they have demands that include not forcing high school teachers to add an extra class period to their days.
KEEP ON VOLUNTEERING: Students have made community service a key part of USF. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognizes the university - the only one in Florida among 76 honorees - for its efforts.
DON'T STOP LEARNING: Just because it's summer doesn't mean that kids have to turn off their brains. Pasco County's Title I parent involvement coordinator offers workshops, and extensive lists of ideas, web sites and more, about how to keep them mentally active during the lengthy break.
STANDARDIZED TESTS AND TEACHERS: Neither is perfect. In some instances, the tests give more accurate readings of a student's abilities than a teacher's grades, Gradebook contributor and Times state ed reporter Ron Matus suggests in a commentary.
COMPROMISE ON CLASS SIZE: The state mandate is headed toward its class-by-class count, and it's too rigid. Perhaps if everyone would drop the rhetoric and talk about feasible fixes, school children would benefit, the Times editorial board says.
EDUCATION:IMPOSSIBLE: Florida does not allow undocumented immigrants who have graduated from state high schools to get public aid for college, making college too expensive for most, the Naples Daily News reports in the first of a two-part series.
SCHOOL GRADES DELAYED? Maybe, the DOE says, in the face of the FCAT scoring brouhaha. That could make it tough for parents to make school choices allowed under No Child Left Behind by the state-set July 1 deadline, the Miami Herald reports.
THINK FLORIDA'S TEST PROBLEMS ARE BAD? The Dallas Morning News launched a three-part series today under the headline, "Analysis Shows TAKS Cheating Rampant." The award-winning investigative team that has already forced the Texas Education Agency to change its ways finds at least 50,000 more examples of cheating.
AND FINALLY, REDSHIRTING FOR KINDERGARTEN: The NY Times Sunday Magazine explores the issue of having children start kindergarten a year later than usual. Some states are actively supporting the concept. (Maybe it helps bump test scores.)