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Amazon recruitment efforts target Florida high schools and colleges, offering student incentives

Amazon recruitment efforts target Florida high schools and colleges, offering student incentives

Trying to secure an endless workforce for its Florida expansion, Amazon is pushing free education as an employee perk. Potential workers are even targeted at the high school level. The e-commerce giant, for example, is building a new fulfillment center in Tallahassee and participated in the Leon Works Expo last month. From business and IT, creative, health and trade jobs, the expo showcases a variety of careers to mostly high school juniors, along with some seniors. [Source: Tallahassee Democrat]

Most Florida math textbook reviewers didn’t see evidence of ‘woke’ concepts

Dozens of state reviewers found no evidence of “prohibited topics” like critical race theory and social-emotional learning in math textbooks, a partial review of nearly 6,000 pages of book examinations shows. However, a much smaller number of reviewers did find examples they disagreed with on those topics. The textbook examinations were part of a “thorough” review process that led the Florida Department of Education to reject 54 of 132 math textbooks proposed for use in public school classrooms over claims that publishers were attempting to “indoctrinate” students. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida campus surveys under scrutiny in lawsuit. ‘A political tool.’  

The “intellectual freedom” surveys recently distributed at Florida’s public colleges and universities have drawn harsh criticism for trying to gauge whether politics seeps into classrooms. But the questions asked of roughly 1 million students, faculty and other employees were on the way to being even more controversial, court documents show. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

DeSantis signs law requiring Florida school lessons on victims of communism

Calling it a “blockbuster day for freedom,” Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed a bill that will require public school students to observe “Victims of Communism Day” on Nov. 7 each year. The new law, which went into effect immediately, describes the day as being geared toward “honoring the 100 million people who have fallen victim to communist regimes” across the world. The law also gives DeSantis authority to extend observance of the day beyond public schools, as it requires that Victims of Communism Day “be suitably observed by public exercise in the State Capitol and elsewhere as the governor may designate.” [Source: News Service of Florida]

Floridians see personal finance class requirement as a positive for students

Residents across Florida are optimistic about the potential impacts of a new law requiring a personal finance class for graduation. Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed the measure that will require high school students to complete a half credit course on personal finance before graduation. The law seeks to rectify a lack of financial literacy in the state, as well as prepare students for the difficult economic challenges that may lay ahead. The requirement will take effect for ninth grade students entering the 2023-24 school year. [Source: WUFT]


› UCF’s master’s program graduates next generation of theme park designers
During a trip to Walt Disney World when he was 5, Jordan Zauha was amazed by the Magic Kingdom and remembered asking his father if Walt Disney built the park himself. “He responded, ‘Yes, people made this place,’” Zauha said. “And that didn’t ruin the magic for me — that made me even more fascinated that we as humans have the ability to craft places that people can go into that seem to only exist in their imagination.” Now 29, Zauha is on track to shape theme parks himself soon.

› How a Florida public university helps more students to graduate sooner
University of South Florida can count Nicholas Bennett as one of its victories in its campaign to bolster the Tampa school’s graduation rates over the past decade. As the pandemic pushed classes online, Bennett fell into a downward spiral of poor grades. He stopped, started and stopped attending classes. But then, counselors and campus advisers helped get him back on his degree path.

› Florida students win yearbook censorship flap over state's LGBTQ bill
After an outcry from students and parents over yearbook censorship, a Florida school board overruled their superintendent’s plan to cover up a page showing students waving rainbow flags and a “love is love” sign during a walkout against the state’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law. The superintendent told the board that the page violated their policy by seeming to endorse a student walkout. Stickers to cover the entire page had already arrived and would be added before yearbooks are handed out this week, she said.

› Brevard Public Schools, teachers union reach tentative agreement on payments to teachers
Though pay discussions between the Brevard Federation of Teachers and Brevard Public Schools got off to a rocky start and still remain somewhat tense, both parties say they have made headway in negotiations for next years’ contract. The union and the district have agreed on nearly $20 million in premium payments to teachers for working during the COVID-19 pandemic. The payments, under the agreement as it now stands, are staggered and roll out over time.