KIDS LOVE THESE BOOKS: The Bluford High series by author Paul Langan has grown so popular in Hillsborough County middle schools that media specialists are ordering more. What's the attraction? The characters are mostly black, mostly urban and, basically, a lot like the kids who are reading about them.
WHERE HAVE ALL THE SCHOLARS GONE? Not to Florida A&M, that's for sure. The school rivaled Harvard U. in its ability to attract the nation's top black high school seniors only seven years ago. Today, it barely recruits them.
HATE THOSE HALF DAYS: Classes end so teachers can plan. But parents' work days go on. Hernando County school leaders wonder if there's a better way, raising concerns about the kids who go home to empty houses.
WANT TO BE A TEACHER? If you don't have the degree but you have the desire, you can check out the education preparation institute program at the state's community colleges, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
WRONG TIME FOR VOUCHERS: Florida lawmakers have too much else on their plate - can you say property taxes and insurance - to spend time debating a revival of the voucher program that the state Supreme Court struck down, the Palm Beach Post editorializes.
THEY'RE EATING SALADS: Healthier cafeteria food is taking root. Even the pizza crust has gotten better for you. Here's reports from the Tallahassee Democrat and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on the craze.
HOMEWORK HELPERS HURT: Parents might think they're doing their kids a service by assisting on the homework. But many educators argue that the interference does the children no good, the Washington Post reports.