NO TEACHING DEGREE REQUIRED: Florida is the only state to mandate every school district have an alternative certification program. As more teachers enter the field without formal education training, the number of scandals seems to have risen. Should we connect those dots? Some do.
MOVE QUICKLY: The Pinellas School Board needs to put someone in charge of the district right away to deal with the budget and other balls in the air. Promoting Julie Janssen as interim superintendent would be a positive first step, the Times editorializes. (Photo from Pinellas school district)
KIDS ON UNIFORMS: Hernando superintendent Wayne Alexander has proposed putting all students in kindergarten through eighth grade into uniforms. More than 100 Fox Chapel Middle students responded with letters expressing their views on the idea.
JUST ONE SCHOOL: The Hernando school district plans to centralize its gifted education program into one K-8 school. To do it, the School Board would pull gifted programs from all other elementary and middle schools. Some parents aren't thrilled.
BE NICE: Schools work to incorporate character building into their curriculum. There isn't much research to show that character and academics are linked. But true believers see that it's making a difference with their students.
LESS RESEARCH: Florida Atlantic and Florida International universities consider closing some research centers to save some money, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
FIGHTING FOR FUNDING: Florida's universities find themselves competing for scarce dollars to begin new construction projects, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
LEARN AT HOME: The number of home-schooling students in Florida grows by 6 percent in a year as more families seek alternatives to the public schools, the Miami Herald reports.
'HIJACKED AND GUTTED': Education accountability is a good thing. But Florida's way of doing it, with vouchers and such, doesn't add up, the Palm Beach Post editorializes.
WHAT'S A CC, ANYWAY? Lawmakers wants to create a "state college" system, and many community college leaders want to jump on board, even going so far as to propose dumping the "community" from their names. The Daytona Beach News-Journal begins a series to look at the history and role of Florida's community colleges.
TIME FOR FUN: Field trip season has begun with the end of the FCAT. But as lawmakers look to push back the testing cycle, educators talk about the need to instill a little fun all year long and not just wait for the end of the year, the Stuart News reports.
SPEAKING OF FUN: Promoters might call them student trips, but not all events follow the same rules or have the same oversight, the Palm Beach Post reports in a story about grad night and related activities.
YOU HAVE TO SHOW UP FIRST: The Orlando Sentinel examines the trend of huge numbers of central Florida high school kids who skip school.
AROUND THE NATION: Looks like one way to get big money from the Dallas school district into your business is to help run the district, the Dallas Morning News reports. Budgets are so tight in California that the public schools are asking parents to send money just to save some of the basics, the LA Times reports. D.C.-area schools continue to look for ways to ensure student safety, but they stop short of metal detectors every time, the Washington Post reports.