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November 30, 2020
Why is Florida the only state requiring SAT/ACT for 2021 college admissions? A popular scholarship may be one reason

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Why is Florida the only state requiring SAT/ACT for 2021 college admissions? A popular scholarship may be one reason

| 10/29/2020

Why is Florida the only state requiring SAT/ACT for 2021 college admissions? A popular scholarship may be one reason

Florida’s popular Bright Futures Scholarship program could be behind a controversial decision that has left the state as the only one in the country insisting students sit for ACT or SAT tests during the pandemic in order to apply for admission to public universities. Ally Schneider, a member of the board that oversees Florida’s 12 public universities, said Board of Governors staff have told her the state is reluctant to waive SAT/ACT requirement this year because students who want to qualify for the scholarships must still submit scores. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Court asked to reconsider Florida school reopening fight

The Florida Education Association and other plaintiffs asked an appeals court Monday to reconsider a decision that backed Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran in a battle about reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorneys for the statewide teachers union and other plaintiffs filed two similar motions asking for a rehearing by a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal or by the full appellate court. [Source: News Service of Florida]

At Florida Virtual School, DeVos praises online classes but says in-person best

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited the Florida Virtual School’s Orlando headquarters Monday, praising the state’s online school as a “model for the nation” but also saying education is “best done in person for most kids.” The virtual school, in operation for more than 20 years, has become more popular this year as the coronavirus pandemic made more parents consider options outside Florida’s “brick and mortar” schools. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida school nurse shortage worsens with COVID-19 for some districts

They are the first line of defense against student illness and the spread of sickness at schools, but across Florida schools, nurses are still in high demand and, in some cases, even shorter supply. School nurse shortages are nothing new. Not in Florida or anywhere else in the country, but with the number of COVID-19 cases starting to increase again, some districts in the Sunshine State are getting hit with a double whammy — more cases and fewer school nurses. [Source: WFTS]

UCF physics professors play key role in NASA’s mission to get an asteroid sample from space

Inside a small canister 200 million miles from Earth is something that University of Central Florida physics professors Humberto Campins and Kerri Donaldson Hanna have only dreamed of: a sample of an asteroid. NASA had never collected one until Oct. 20, when its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, four years after launching from Cape Canaveral, at last made contact with the asteroid Bennu and with a quick grab of its robotic arm managed to scoop up a clawful of rocks and pebbles. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› High school seniors get more time to apply to the University of Florida
Even during normal times, the pressure of pulling together an application to attend the University of Florida can get to high school seniors. Add in the stresses associated with COVID-19, such as quarantines and online course loads, and the tension only mounts. “We’ve heard from students and high school counselors” seeking relief, said Charles Murphy, director of freshman and international admission. “We made the decision ... to move the deadline back from Nov. 1 to Nov. 16.”

› JAX Chamber, state colleges partner for fintech
Florida State College at Jacksonville, St. Johns River State College and JAX Chamber are partnering to develop a comprehensive financial technology education, employment and business recruitment program. The colleges and the chamber will use a $3.67 million state grant intended to help make Florida a top destination for financial technology companies to develop and implement the program.

› Bethune-Cookman opts for no sports during 2020-21 school year
Bethune-Cookman, a historically Black college in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, will not play sports during the 2020-21 school year, a move that impacts men's and women's basketball and football. "In the face of a surging COVID-19 spike across much of the country and the State of Florida, we have concluded that the risks are too great for our student-athletes and staff to travel and compete at this time," Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite, the school's president, said.

› FSU's record first-year student retention rate places among Top 15 nationally
Florida State University is retaining first-year students at a record rate, according to the most recent data reported to the Florida Board of Governors. Ninety-five percent of FSU’s first-time-in-college students who enrolled in Summer/Fall 2019 stayed for their sophomore year — a record for the university. Notably, last year’s freshman class of about 7,100 students was the largest and most diverse in university history.

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