December 2, 2023
Florida universities still require entry tests. Which has the best scores?

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Florida universities still require entry tests. Which has the best scores?

| 10/12/2023

Florida universities still require entry tests. Which has the best scores?

Many states have suspended or ended the use of admission test scores to gain entry to their university systems. They say there are better ways to measure student qualifications. Florida is not one of those. Instead of going test-optional, like Texas and California, Florida has added more exams for students to choose among. But the scores are still required. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Palm Beach Post.

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Learning differently

Founded in 1989 by a group of parents who wanted their children with learning and attention issues to experience higher education, Beacon College opened with 32 students and a campus consisting of two repurposed buildings along Leesburg’s Main Street. Beacon initially offered one degree, a bachelor of arts in human services. In 2013, when George J. Hagerty became the college’s president, Beacon had 187 students, but Hagerty, who has a background in both college administration and special education, saw that the school had room to grow. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida schools latest target in escalating cyber attacks

If school districts didn't have enough to deal with already, they're now having to keep a close eye out for hackers and scammers. In the last two months, at least two schools in Florida have been hit by hackers or scammers. Cybersecurity experts and even the FBI have put out warnings that schools are increasingly becoming targets. The Associated Press reports 48 districts in the U.S. have been hit this year by ransomware – already three more than last year. [Source: WOFL]

Much-touted UF campus plan for downtown West Palm Beach dies, leaving huge disappointment

There will be no University of Florida graduate school campus in downtown West Palm Beach. The state's flagship university this summer quietly ended plans for the Global Technology and Innovation Campus, quashing a venture that backers said would have elevated Palm Beach County's educational offerings and supercharged its growing finance and tech industries. [Source: Gainesville Sun]

Florida Education Department presents new K-12 assessment standards to Legislature

In a presentation to the Florida Senate Committee on preschool through 12th-grade education, Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz’s annual recommendation for cut-off scores for the state’s progress assessments was presented by education official Juan Copa. The Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) began with the 2022-2023 school year after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an education reform bill into law the previous spring. It is an ungraded assessment meant to give the state a sense of the academic readiness of students, Copa said. [Source: Florida Phoenix]


› In Miami-Dade Schools, all you need to be a substitute teacher is a GED degree
In the face of a persistent teacher shortage, Miami-Dade County Public Schools had quietly lowered the requirements for substitute teachers for the second time in six years. Historically, the district had required subs to have completed at least 60 hours of college credit — approximately equivalent to an associate’s degree — and be at least 19 years old. In 2017, the district lowered the college requirements to 30 hours of credit and the age to 18 for K-8 positions, and 19 for high school positions.

› Textbook reviewers did not recommend Dave Ramsey book. Pasco approved it anyway, documents show
A team of academics and parents who reviewed personal finance guru Dave Ramsey’s textbook found it riddled with problems, and did not recommend its use in Pasco County Schools. Reviewers repeatedly noted they could not compare the text to state standards for a new course, because those standards weren't released yet. Despite this, and an increasing number of objections from the public, the materials were approved by both the Pasco district and the Florida Department of Education in separate processes.

› Seminole schools yank 31 books based on complaints from other counties
Seminole County Public Schools removed 31 books from their high school libraries last month, not because a Seminole parent complained about the novels but because another Florida school district had yanked them based on objections from someone in their county. The Seminole district said it pulled the books from shelves based on state guidance advising schools to “check any books that have been removed or restricted due to a challenge in other districts.” The state advice added that those volumes should be “carefully considered” before being stacked on school library shelves.

› Public school enrollment dips across Northeast Florida amid universal vouchers law
Student population is steadily declining at some public schools across Northeast Florida. Parents are cashing in universal vouchers from the Florida Department of Education and enrolling their kids at private or specialized schools instead. A declining enrollment means fewer dollars for classrooms in districts like Duval, Clay and St. Johns counties.

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