CRONYISM U.: Proving it's not what you know, it's who you know, Florida A&M over the years has made the hiring of friends and family a fine art. As one of the recipients observed, "If you were in their club, you benefited." (Times photo, 2005)
'WE'VE BEEN DUPED': It seemed like a deal, promulgated since kindergarten. Go to school, get a degree, and a good job is yours for the taking. But that's not reality these days, Haverford College senior Brian Till writes in an op-ed piece worth reading.
NOW WHAT? Pasco County's school employees union threatened an unfair labor practice complaint unless the superintendent backed down from her stance that everyone is on call to run emergency shelters, if needed. But she's not backing down.
ANOTHER ARREST: A 20-year-old with a criminal past turns himself in as part of the group that brought a neighborhood fight, and a gun, to summer school at Middleton High in Tampa.
WANT TO INVEST IN PASCO SCHOOLS? Fitch Ratings announces that it has rated the district's $140-million certificates of participation program an A.
GIVING CHARTER SCHOOLS A BAD REP: The principal was supposed to be running schools with the money. Instead, she was buying things like a personal SUV. Now the schools are closed and both the Miami-Dade and Broward districts, as well as police, are investigating, the Sun-Sentinel reports in a story that seems all too familiar.
WHERE'S THE MONEY? Miami-Dade College delays its fall registration because Gov. Crist's decision to veto a 5 percent tuition hike appears to have eliminated the school's tuition altogether, the Miami Herald reports. Looks true for all community colleges, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
SKINKS IN THE WAY: Mount Dora officials have wanted a public school in their downtown since the last one closed in 2000. Finding a site hasn't been so easy, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
CASH FOR GRADES: No, it's not a cheating scandal. It's that controversial incentive program for students, and NY Mayor Bloomberg - who essentially runs the nation's largest school system - is keen on the idea, the NY Times reports. At least one Florida lawmaker also has talked about proposing the concept here.
Visit the Gradebook at noon for an interview with Hillsborough County superintendent MaryEllen Elia, who discusses her role on - and her expectations of - the state's new FCAT advisory panel.