DEALING WITH REALITY: The rules say that students must keep their cell phones off and out of sight during classes. Like that happens. Really, kids - especially teens - text whenever they can. Pinellas school officials know that, and they're considering an "acceptable use" policy instead. Interesting that on the east coast, Palm Beach County is looking at an all-out ban because of cyber-bullying concerns. Wonder who's right.
ELECTED COMMISSIONER DEBATE: The Senate vote to put the education commissioner back in the Cabinet and on the ballot crossed party lines, with "accountability" the key phrase being tossed about. But some refused to join in, saying the voters decided in 1998 they didn't want to vote anymore.
UF FEE STALLS: Senate Higher Ed chair Evelyn Lynn says the effort to charge students $500 per semester doesn't have enough support. Even supporters acknowledge it's "time to move on."
MEETING PEN PALS: For months, the Pasco Middle students had used e-mail to share thoughts on culture, school and family with students in Nanjing, China. They finally met face-to-face, thanks to Internet teleconferencing, on Friday. "It brought passion to the classroom," effused assistant principal Laurie Johnson.
GIFTED FUNDING: Florida lawmakers made the right call by asking for a review of how money for gifted education gets spent, the Herald-Tribune editorializes. Here's the Charlotte Sun-Herald's take on how the shift took place.
NOT DEAD YET: A Jacksonville-area House member plans one last maneuver to give schools the flexibility to start classes earlier than two weeks before Labor Day, the Florida Times-Union reports. A colleague on the Senate side supports the move, saying "the academic achievement of our students is our highest priority, not tourism."
SUPERINTENDENT FIRED: The Department of Juvenile Justice has dismissed the acting superintendent of the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna amid an investigation into the abuse of a youth, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
ABSTINENCE CLASSES DON'T MATTER: A national report finds that kids who took abstinence-only sex education classes still had sex at the same age, on average, as kids who didn't the Associated Press reports.