May 17, 2022
What can parents, students expect from Florida's K-12 testing overhaul?

Florida Trend Education

What can parents, students expect from Florida's K-12 testing overhaul?

| 3/17/2022

What can parents, students expect from Florida’s K-12 testing overhaul?

After this spring, Florida’s public school students will no longer undergo testing as they currently know it. The state is getting ready to overhaul how it tests students by moving away from pencils and paper to a new computer-based system that aims to more frequently measure a student’s performance in the classroom. But much remains to be done by state education officials before the testing changes can be rolled out in the 2022-23 academic year beginning in the fall. The company that will be in charge of the computer-based system, for instance, has not been picked yet. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

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The pandemic has led to a re-evaluation of alternative forms of Florida education

ven as Florida’s traditional brick-and-mortar schools have largely returned to their pre-pandemic operations, FLVS’ enrollment remains high. The school projects a full-time enrollment of more than 11,000 K-12 students this academic year. Part-time enrollment is up as well, with 173,768 students taking at least one class to supplement in-person classes at other schools between July and December 2021 — a 4% increase over that same period in 2019. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida among the top talent pools for major tech firms — but some universities lag behind

Florida is among the top 10 states in the nation where large tech firms find a majority of their employees, according to a new report. But when it comes to local education, Tampa Bay lags. According to a survey by TonerGiant, Florida ranks at No. 9 nationally as a talent pool for 26 of the biggest tech companies in the nation, including Amazon, Microsoft and Google. More than 13,000 graduates from Florida universities work or have worked at a major tech firm since graduating, according to LinkedIn data analyzed by TonerGiant. [Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal]

DeSantis announces $289 million in new education funding

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has announced another $289 million in funding for educational programs to help close achievement gaps, improve STEM education and boost student resiliency. The funding includes $105 million for after-school and summer learning camps to help struggling students catch up, $47 million for primary materials aligned to Florida's new standards for English, math, civics and Holocaust education, $50 million to support reading intervention and professional development for reading coaches, $44 million to support STEM and hands-on learning programs, $22.5 million for resources to help parents be more involved in their children's education, and $5 million to establish regional mental health resiliency teams that serve students. [Source: NBC Miami]

Florida law hides ID of university president search candidates from public record

A bill hiding the identities of presidential search candidates for public colleges and universities in Florida was signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday with no fanfare or announcement until after it was complete. The law was passed by the legislature on March 4 and scheduled to go into effect immediately upon becoming law. It allows candidates in the final stage of presidential searches to remain protected from public records requests, and outside the purview of state Sunshine Laws or transparency rules. [Source: WFLA]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› With local lawmakers in charge, USF receives record state funding
The University of South Florida has not always felt the warmth of state lawmakers’ limelight. But Tampa Bay’s 50,000-student university system is poised to see historic funding from the Legislature this year. The school is chalking that up to flush state coffers and the powerful support of two hometown leaders: House Speaker Chris Sprowls and Senate President Wilton Simpson.

› The University of Florida expands its Artificial Intelligence program
As part of its commitment to becoming an “AI University”, UF is expanding its artificial intelligence program. University officials announced this week that they will be creating an artificial intelligence academic initiative center to increase and promote AI courses. They will be working with the state university system and southeastern conference to develop the program.

› A new law would change the book review process in Florida schools
The conversation surrounding education in Florida has revolved around the state’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill, otherwise known by critics as the "Don’t Say Gay" bill. But another influential education bill has made its way through the state legislature. Right now, HB1467 awaits a signature from Gov. Ron DeSantis. If it becomes law, the state would be required to circulate a list of all books and materials banned by individual districts, and the community and parents would play a greater role in the review process.

› Rollins College professor inspires female students through education, entrepreneurship
Dr. Mary Conway Dato-On can’t hide her enthusiasm as she talks to students about the ropes of business and entrepreneurship. Her lessons don’t stop in the classroom, they go beyond. “Women invest in the future. So, the more we can invest in women today, the brighter our future will be tomorrow, not just for women but for our whole community,” she said. Dr. Conway Dato-On became the first female faculty president at the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College.

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The Weekly: Central Florida's affordable housing crisis
The Weekly: Central Florida's affordable housing crisis

Florida is now considered to be the least affordable place to live in the entire country, with home prices and rent soaring in the last year. Ryan von Weller with Wendover Housing Partners, an Altamonte Springs-based real estate company that focuses on affordable housing, joined News 6 anchor Justin Warmoth on “The Weekly” to discuss whether the crisis has already reached a tipping point.

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