Section 229.551, Florida Statutes 2001
1229.551 Educational management.--
(1) The department is directed to identify all functions which under the provisions of this act contribute to, or comprise a part of, the state system of educational accountability and to establish within the department the necessary organizational structure, policies, and procedures for effectively coordinating such functions. Such policies and procedures shall clearly fix and delineate responsibilities for various aspects of the system and for overall coordination of the total system. The commissioner shall perform the following duties and functions:
(a) Coordination of department plans for meeting educational needs and for improving the quality of education provided by the state system of public education;
(b) Coordination of management information system development for all levels of education and for all divisions of the department, to include the development and utilization of cooperative education computing networks for the state system of public education;
(c) Development of database definitions and all other items necessary for full implementation of a comprehensive management information system as required by s. 229.555;
(d) Coordination of all planning functions for all levels and divisions within the department;
(e) Coordination of all cost accounting and cost reporting activities for all levels of education, including public schools, vocational programs, community colleges, and institutions in the State University System;
(f) Development and coordination of a common course designation and numbering system for postsecondary and dual enrollment education in school districts, community colleges, participating nonpublic postsecondary education institutions, and the State University System which will improve program planning, increase communication among all delivery systems, and facilitate student acceleration and the transfer of students. The system shall not encourage or require course content prescription or standardization or uniform course testing, and the continuing maintenance of the system shall be accomplished by appropriate faculty committees representing public and participating nonpublic institutions. The Articulation Coordinating Committee, whose membership represents public and nonpublic institutions, shall:
1. Identify the highest demand degree programs within the State University System.
2. Conduct a study of courses offered by universities and accepted for credit toward a degree. The study shall identify courses designated as either general education or required as a prerequisite for a degree. The study shall also identify these courses as upper-division level or lower-division level.
3. Appoint faculty committees representing both community college and university faculties to recommend a single level for each course included in the common course numbering and designation system. Any course designated as an upper-division level course must be characterized by a need for advanced academic preparation and skills that a student would be unlikely to achieve without significant prior coursework. A course that is offered as part of an associate in science degree program and as an upper-division course for a baccalaureate degree shall be designated for both the lower and upper division. Of the courses required for each baccalaureate degree, at least half of the credit hours required for the degree shall be achievable through courses designated as lower-division courses, except in degree programs approved by the Board of Regents pursuant to s. 240.209(5)(e). A course designated as lower-division may be offered by any community college. The Articulation Coordinating Committee shall recommend to the State Board of Education the levels for the courses. The common course numbering and designation system shall include the courses at the recommended levels, and, by fall semester of 1996, the registration process at each state university and community college shall include the courses at their designated levels and common course numbers.
4. Appoint faculty committees representing both community college and university faculties to recommend those courses identified to meet general education requirements within the subject areas of communication, mathematics, social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. The Articulation Coordinating Committee shall recommend to the State Board of Education those courses identified to meet these general education requirements by their common course code number. All community colleges and state universities shall accept these general education courses.
5. Appoint faculty committees representing both community colleges and universities to recommend common prerequisite courses and identify course substitutions when common prerequisites cannot be established for degree programs across all institutions. Faculty work groups shall adopt a strategy for addressing significant differences in prerequisites, including course substitutions. The Board of Regents shall be notified by the Articulation Coordinating Committee when significant differences remain. Common degree program prerequisites shall be offered and accepted by all state universities and community colleges, except in cases approved by the Board of Regents pursuant to s. 240.209(5)(f). The Board of Regents shall work with the State Board of Community Colleges on the development of a centralized database containing the list of courses and course substitutions that meet the prerequisite requirements for each baccalaureate degree program.
6. Appoint faculty committees representing public school, community college, and university faculties to identify postsecondary courses that meet the high school graduation requirements of s. 232.246, and to establish the number of postsecondary semester credit hours of instruction and equivalent high school credits earned through dual enrollment pursuant to s. 240.116 that are necessary to meet high school graduation requirements. Such equivalencies shall be determined solely on comparable course content and not on seat time traditionally allocated to such courses in high school. The Articulation Coordinating Committee shall recommend to the State Board of Education those courses identified to meet high school graduation requirements, based on mastery of course outcomes, by their common course code number, and all high schools shall accept these postsecondary education courses toward meeting the requirements of s. 232.246.
(g) Expansion and ongoing maintenance of the common course designation and numbering system to include the numbering and designation of postsecondary vocational courses and facilitate the transfer of credits between public schools, community colleges, and state universities. The Articulation Coordinating Committee shall:
1. Adopt guidelines for the participation of public school districts and community colleges in offering courses that may be transferred to a certificate, diploma, or degree program. These guidelines shall establish standards addressing faculty qualifications, admissions, program curricula, participation in the common course designation and numbering system, and other issues identified by the Task Force on Workforce Development and the Commissioner of Education. Guidelines should also address the role of accreditation in the designation of courses as transferable credit. Such guidelines must not jeopardize the accreditation status of educational institutions and must be based on data related to the history of credit transfer among institutions in this state and others.
2. Identify postsecondary vocational programs offered by community colleges and public school districts. The list shall also identify vocational courses designated as college credit courses applicable toward a vocational diploma or degree. Such courses must be identified within the common course numbering and designation system.
3. Appoint faculty committees representing both community college and public school faculties to recommend a standard program length and appropriate occupational completion points for each postsecondary vocational certificate program, diploma, and degree; and
(h) Development of common definitions necessary for managing a uniform coordinated system of career education for all levels of the state system of public education.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that the commissioner, as appropriate, draw upon the expertise and the staff of all appropriate departments and agencies of the state in assuring that the system of educational accountability is administered in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
(3) As a part of the system of educational accountability, the department shall:
(a) Develop minimum performance standards for various grades and subject areas, as required in ss. 229.565 and 229.57.
(b) Administer the statewide assessment testing program created by s. 229.57.
(c) Review the school advisory councils of each district as required by s. 229.58.
(d) Conduct the program evaluations required by s. 229.565.
(e) Maintain a listing of college-level communication and computation skills defined by the Articulation Coordinating Committee as being associated with successful student performance through the baccalaureate level and submit the same to the State Board of Education for approval.
(f) Maintain a listing of tests and other assessment procedures which measure and diagnose student achievement of college-level communication and computation skills and submit the same to the State Board of Education for approval.
(g) Maintain for the information of the State Board of Education and the Legislature a file of data compiled by the Articulation Coordinating Committee to reflect achievement of college-level communication and computation competencies by students in state universities and community colleges.
(h) Develop or contract for, and submit to the State Board of Education for approval, tests which measure and diagnose student achievement of college-level communication and computation skills. Any tests and related documents developed are exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). The commissioner shall maintain statewide responsibility for the administration of such tests and may assign administrative responsibilities for the tests to any public university or community college. The state board, upon recommendation of the commissioner, is authorized to enter into contracts for such services beginning in one fiscal year and continuing into the next year which are paid from the appropriation for either or both fiscal years.
(i) Perform any other functions that may be involved in educational planning, research, and evaluation or that may be required by the commissioner, the State Board of Education, or law.
History.--s. 8, ch. 68-13; s. 1, ch. 69-300; s. 13, ch. 72-221; s. 3, ch. 75-302; s. 2, ch. 76-223; s. 108, ch. 79-222; s. 2, ch. 81-193; s. 2, ch. 82-180; s. 3, ch. 83-325; s. 50, ch. 84-336; s. 40, ch. 85-80; s. 10, ch. 85-109; s. 1, ch. 86-225; s. 47, ch. 87-329; s. 1, ch. 88-18; s. 20, ch. 89-189; s. 57, ch. 89-381; s. 56, ch. 90-360; s. 10, ch. 91-283; s. 68, ch. 92-136; s. 1, ch. 95-243; s. 75, ch. 96-406; s. 3, ch. 97-246; s. 6, ch. 97-307; s. 4, ch. 98-58; s. 30, ch. 99-398; s. 2, ch. 2000-225; s. 3(7), ch. 2000-321; s. 10, ch. 2000-331.
1Note.--Repealed January 7, 2003, by s. 3(7), ch. 2000-321, and shall be reviewed by the Legislature prior to that date.