FORGET DARE: The days of just saying no to drugs have nearly evaporated, as schools turn their attention to attackers and sexual predators. A Citrus County elementary school is piloting a new program to teach youngsters how to evade people who are trying to harm them.
LIFE AFTER FCAT: Once teens pass the 10th-grade version of the test, they don't have to sit through it again. One Hernando County high school has them attend seminars on college, or volunteer in the community, while the rest of the students take the test.
MORE STAR: The Pasco School Board pre-empts a teacher vote by opting out of the performance pay program on its own. Palm Beach goes the other way, the Sun-Sentinel reports, saying the money is too good to pass up.
NOT GOOD ENOUGH: The ACLU is threatening to sue the Palm Beach County school district over the No Child Left Behind Law, the Sun-Sentinel reports. Their complaint? Some children are being left behind.
RETHINKING FRENCH: Schools are paying a lot of attention to Chinese as the language to learn these days. Spanish remains importante, tambien. But French is losing ground. One Maryland school district is embroiled in a controversy over rumors that the romance language is on its way out, the Washington Post reports.
PARENT IN CHIEF: The New York City school system now has a top parent, appointed by the mayor, to make sure parents' concerns and complaints aren't overlooked, the NY Times reports. The job pays $150,000.
ICKY SCIENCE PROJECT ALERT: A suburban-D.C. teen was fascinated with mud. Now he's experimenting with sewage, aiming to create an alternative fuel source, the Washington Post reports.
MIAMI A MODEL: Surprise. The once infamous school district now greets education reformers from all over the country who are looking for ways to improve their schools, too, the Miami Herald reports.
NEVER TOO OLD: Jean "Grandma" Evans, 61, raises three grandchildren and, in her "spare time" volunteers at Forest Hills Elementary in Citrus County. For her hard work, she's been named outstanding senior volunteer in a 19-county region of northern Florida.