STEM education reform bill to get first hearing in Senate PreK-12 Education Committee on Tuesday

Update (4:10 pm):  The staff analyses for SB 756 and SB 1366 have now been posted.  One surprise in the SB 756 analysis:  a footnote that says “Based on telephonic communication with DOE, January 19, 2012, approval of integrated, applied, and combined courses will be delayed pending adoption of common core standards in mathematics and science.”  What?  Adoption “of common core standards in mathematics and science”?  Florida has already adopted the common core math standards, but it has refused to get involved in development of the corresponding science standards – leading many of us to conclude that the state would not adopt the science standards.  Is the state planning to adopt the common core science standards when they are completed?


SB 1366, one of two STEM education reform bills filed by the next President of the Florida Senate, Don Gaetz, will be discussed during tomorrow’s meeting of the chamber’s PreK-12 Education Committee tomorrow.

The bill is complex, but offers some insight regarding the vision of the next Senate President for STEM education.  There are some K-12 provisions, but much of the bill has to do with higher education.

So without further comment, I offer the summary given below of what I see as the most important provisions of the bill.

I’ll also note that SB 756, the proposal by PreK-12 Committee Chair Stephen Wise for a “career” high school diploma, is on the agenda as well.  The bill seems to simply insert the word “applied” in front of the names of several difficult subjects (Algebra 2, Chemistry, Physics).  It is the most constructive of several “career” high school diploma proposals that have been filed during the last few years in response to the rigor of the new high school graduation requirements approved in 2010.  For more detail, see my post on SB 756 from November.

1)  Annual report on student employment and earnings outcomes for each major, listed by university

  •  Data from Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program on employment, earnings, continuing education, and receipt of public assistance
  • Average student loan debt
  • Incomes one year and five years after graduation
  • Percentage of graduates continuing their education

2)   Program based in the Department of Economic Opportunity to match students in technology or engineering with in-state employers

3)  “Unified State Plan for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics”

  •  Developed by “State Board of Education, in consultation with the Board of Governors and the Department of Economic Opportunity”
  • “…to improve K-20 education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and prepare students for high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand employment.”

4)  Performance funding for state universities based on students in information technology programs

  • 25% of score based on “percentage of employed graduates who have earned degrees” in Computer and information science, Computer engineering, Information systems technology, Information technology; and Management information systems
  • Another 25% on “percentage of graduates who earned baccalaureate degrees in the programs in paragraph (a) and who earned industry certifications in a related field from a Florida College System institution or state university prior to graduation.”
  • 50% “based on factors determined by the Board of Governors which relate to increasing the probability that graduates who have earned degrees in the programs described in paragraph (a) will be employed in high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand employment.”
  • “Each year, the Board of Governors shall award up to $15 million to the highest-ranked state universities from funds appropriated for the purposes in this section and as specified in the General Appropriations Act. The award per state university shall be a minimum of 20 percent of the total amount appropriated pursuant to this section.  The funds shall be awarded to the department of the state university which offers the degrees described in paragraph.
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One Response to STEM education reform bill to get first hearing in Senate PreK-12 Education Committee on Tuesday

  1. Pingback: Florida Senate STEM bill forges ahead « Bridge to Tomorrow

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