FRIENDSHIP 101: The Seven Springs Middle School teachers had a simple goal - find ways to get regular education students to accept their schoolmates with special needs. So they took a group on a trip to the Florida Aquarium and let the kids work it out themselves. (Times photo, Chris Zuppa)
EXCELLENT EDUCATION: Four Pinellas high schools - East Lake, Northeast, Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg - will host the district's new Centers of Excellence career academies.
MORE THAN JUST ANOTHER DORM: It will be St. Petersburg College's first foray into on-campus living, marking the school's move toward becoming a full four-year institution.
VOUCHER DRIVE STALLS: The Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission kills a proposal to let voters decide whether school vouchers should be enshrined in the state constitution, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.
LEE WANTS ACCESS TO CAPITAL: Its capital projects budget, that is. The district has plenty of cash just sitting there unused, and it's seeking state permission to spend the money on operating expenses instead, the Naples Daily News reports.
PUSHING P.E. NOT EASY: Lawmakers want schools to provide students more time for physical activity, but find schools unable or unwilling to do it, the AP reports (via Florida Times-Union).
DON'T MESS WITH THE FCAT: The penalty for Florida teachers who help students on the high-stakes test can be harsh, but many say academic fraud cannot be tolerated, the AP reports (via ABCactionnews.com)
OUSTED: Palm Beach teachers dump their union president, who had been criticized for not fighting hard enough for the teachers' interests, the Palm Beach Post reports.
POSTPONED: The Brevard district has delayed its employee job fairs, which usually draw hundreds, in anticipation of budget cuts, Florida Today reports.
Visit the Gradebook at noon for an interview with Mary Jo McGrath, a nationally recognized expert on teacher sexual abuse of students.