September 21, 2023
Florida's accreditation shuffle begins

Florida Trend Education

Florida's accreditation shuffle begins

| 8/31/2023

Florida’s accreditation shuffle begins

The U.S. Department of Education has given Florida SouthWestern State College approval to seek a new accreditor, setting in motion a state plan that will require its 40 public institutions to move away from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges. Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, attributed the approval to a lawsuit the state brought in June challenging the Department of Education and the accrediting system. [Source: Inside Higher Ed]

Florida’s push for parental rights in education has deep national roots

For the past two years, Florida has led a national Republican education movement called parental rights. Its push to provide in law a “fundamental” role for parents, often casting the school system and its educators as foes, is not a singular one. Other states have adopted many similar statutes, such as restrictions on instruction about race and gender, while also calling for the teaching without “indoctrination.” The impetus for this national wave did not begin with Florida, though. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Poll: Voters express dissatisfaction with quality of public school education

The poll of 2,500 voters found that 39% were satisfied with the quality of their local public school’s education, and 41% were dissatisfied. The poll asked 1,000 Republicans, 1,000 Democrats and 500 independent voters about their views. Satisfaction with the performance of their local public school districts also varied depending on the region voters lived in. Noble said that voters in the southern region of the United States were more dissatisfied with the quality of education, with 45% expressing dissatisfaction. [Source: The Center Square]

First Amendment fight over children’s book in school libraries expands in Florida

A First Amendment fight about access in school libraries to the children’s book “And Tango Makes Three” has expanded to include the Escambia County school system. Attorneys for the book’s authors and a third-grade student filed a revised federal lawsuit Friday that, in part, seeks an injunction to require restoring the book to Escambia school library shelves. The lawsuit also is filed against the Lake County school district and the State Board of Education amid a wide-ranging debate in Florida about school boards restricting or removing books. [Source: Miami Herald]

New online schools allow Florida students to learn at their own pace

For Florida families, this new school year brings with it more choices than ever for selecting the school — and setting — that best meets the needs of their child. The brick-and-mortar school model serves many students well. But every student has an individual learning style — and each family has different commitments. Online schools allow enrolled students to learn at their own pace and on their own terms. [Source: Florida Times-Union]


› Virtual hurricanes could save communities from storms, UF professor says
As Hurricane Idalia headed toward Cedar Key, the small community in Florida’s Big Bend region where the storm was predicted to make landfall on Wednesday, Kenneth Sassaman was worried that history was repeating itself. “The storm is very similar to the one in 1896 in terms of its trajectory and magnitude,” said Sassaman, a professor of Florida archaeology at the University of Florida. “I am hoping for the best but worried that Cedar Key is going to get a massive storm surge.”

› Students, professors report chaos as semester begins at New College of Florida
Months after what critics have decried as a conservative takeover at New College of Florida, students and professors say a sense of confusion and anxiety looms over the start of fall semester in Sarasota, Florida. Amy Reid, a member of the school’s Board of Trustees, said course options have dwindled after nearly 40% of faculty members have resigned. Reid said the situation is quickly becoming “untenable.”

› DeSantis pledges $1m to boost security at historically Black college after racist shooting
Gov. DeSantis, has announced $1m for heightened security at a historically Black college, a day after he was booed at a memorial gathering for victims of a deadly racist shooting in his state. DeSantis said his administration would give $1m to Edward Waters University to enhance its security after the gunman in this weekend’s racist killings at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville tried to enter the historically Black college but was denied entry.

› Florida Poly touts automated vehicle partnership with Estonian university
Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland and Tallin University of Technology in Estonia are broadening their reach with a partnership focused on fixing the safety issues inherent in today's autonomous vehicle technology. The partnership, first formed with a memorandum of understanding in 2019, has produced an open-source environment called PolyVerif, which provides new tools for testing and validating AV technology.

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