September 25, 2021
State university faculty, students to be surveyed on beliefs

Florida Trend Education

State university faculty, students to be surveyed on beliefs

| 6/24/2021

State university faculty, students to be surveyed on beliefs

In his continued push against the “indoctrination” of students, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed legislation that will require public universities and colleges to survey students, faculty and staff about their beliefs and viewpoints to support “intellectual diversity.” The survey will discern “the extent to which competing ideas and perspectives are presented” in public universities and colleges, and seeks to find whether students, faculty and staff “feel free to express beliefs and viewpoints on campus and in the classroom,” according to the bill. More from the  Tampa Bay Times and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Florida 11th graders could take a free college entrance exam starting next school year if the state covers the cost

Florida 11th graders could take a national college entrance exam — either ACT or SAT — for free starting in the 2021-22 school year, if Gov. Ron DeSantis approves the legislation. The Florida Legislature approved the effort in a bill this spring, and lawmakers recently sent the bill to DeSantis’ desk for consideration. The bill sponsored by Sen. Manny Diaz, a Republican who represents part of Miami-Dade County, requires that public school districts select either the ACT or the SAT to administer the tests to their 11th graders. [Source: Florida Phoeniix]

Opinion: Florida schools became inspiring innovators amid COVID's challenges

Amid the disruption of this past year, what can be carried forward as potentially better ways of doing things during the next school year? Florida’s local education foundations work with nearly every school district in the state to innovate learning, power potential and celebrate success. Over the past 16 months we have connected with teachers – as well as program and school leaders – to learn about the new strategies that they plan to continue. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Bonus checks to come from state, not schools. Teachers want to know why.

Florida’s public school classroom teachers and principals are set to receive $1,000 bonuses this year, and Gov. Ron DeSantis has systematically tied his name to the financial recognition. So much so that his administration has taken steps to have the money delivered directly from the state, rather than following the usual process of sending bonus funding to school districts for distribution. DeSantis critics have speculated that politics is at play. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida's third graders show in-person instruction led to better learning outcomes

The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) announced the initial English Language Arts (ELA) results of the Grade 3 Florida Standards Assessment (FSA). Findings from the initial results include that districts with higher rates of in-person instruction had more consistent learning outcomes between 2019 and 2021 (state tests were not administered in Spring 2020). Achievement gaps also narrowed for Florida’s African American and Hispanic students, who experienced less of a decline (3 percent) than White students (4 percent). [Source: Florida Trend]


› Matanzas High School principal gives handwritten, personalized notes to all 459 graduates
While Matanzas High School seniors were competing in their final sports games, taking finals, signing each other's yearbooks and closing out their school year, Principal Jeff Reaves was preparing his final farewell to each and every 2021 graduate. From the beginning of March up until the morning of graduation at the Ocean Center on June 2, Reaves scoured through transcripts, emails and his own memories to handwrite a personalized note to each of the 459 graduating seniors.

› UWF leads state in percentage of bachelor's graduates employed in Florida Board of Governors performance metrics
The University of West Florida is No. 1 in the Florida State University System for Metric 1 of the Florida Board of Governors’ 2020-21 performance-based funding model. More than 79% of UWF bachelor’s graduates are employed or furthering their education one year after graduation.

› Lawsuit calls out school district’s mental health policies
Several advocacy groups are suing a Florida school district over its practice of making hundreds of students undergo mental health examinations at psychiatric facilities each year. The federal lawsuit, filed Tuesday by advocates for disabled and minority children, called the Palm Beach County’s public school district’s policy “excessive and illegal.”

› Florida Poly professor shaping the future of rhinoplasty
Dr. Oguzhan Topsakal, assistant professor of computer science at Florida Polytechnic University, is employing leading-edge digital technology to help plastic surgeons achieve better outcomes when performing rhinoplasty. “In pre-surgery, facial analysis is an important part of the planning,” Topsakal said. “We have developed an analyzer tool and also an educational tool for plastic surgeons or physicians working on facial analysis or plastic surgery.”

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