Florida Senate - 2013                                     SB 968
       By Senator Brandes
       22-00574A-13                                           2013968__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to school curriculum; providing a
    3         definition; creating a pilot project for students to
    4         earn micro-credits for participating in certain
    5         activities; requiring the Department of Education to
    6         administer a pilot project in a school district of its
    7         choice and to adopt rules regarding the activities for
    8         which students can earn micro-credits; establishing
    9         minimum requirements; requiring the department, the
   10         State Board of Education, and the Board of Governors
   11         of the State University System to study the potential
   12         of alternative credit hours at the postsecondary level
   13         and release their respective findings by a certain
   14         date; providing an effective date.
   16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   18         Section 1. Micro-credits pilot project.
   19         (1) As used in this section, the term “micro-credit” means
   20  a fraction of a traditional course credit hour which is earned
   21  through activities or experiences that culminate in educational
   22  gain comparable to the amount that would be achieved in a
   23  traditional classroom setting. Such activities include, but are
   24  not limited to, self-directed study, reading, attending
   25  seminars, viewing documentaries, and other life experiences.
   26  Micro-credits are accumulated and, upon reaching a specified
   27  number of micro-credits, total one traditional course credit
   28  hour.
   29         (2)(a) The Department of Education shall determine a school
   30  district within which a micro-credit pilot project is to be
   31  administered for 2 years beginning July 1, 2014, unless
   32  otherwise approved by the Legislature. The department shall
   33  establish rules governing the issuance of micro-credits by the
   34  school district.
   35         (b) The district shall determine, based on rules adopted by
   36  the department, the micro-credit activities that will be
   37  accepted within the school district and shall make publicly
   38  available a catalog of the activities and their micro-credit
   39  value, as well as the micro-credits required to achieve a
   40  traditional credit hour.
   41         (c) The pilot project must, at a minimum, provide for the
   42  following:
   43         1. Testing of the various types of activities to determine
   44  educational gain by an assessment of at least 10 questions but
   45  not more than 30 questions per micro-credit.
   46         2. A diverse range of activities for micro-credit gain
   47  within each subject field.
   48         3. Various activities for micro-credit gain within each
   49  subject field to provide maximum options for a student.
   50         4. A student-oriented format to maximize student
   51  independence and flexibility.
   52         (d) The pilot project may:
   53         1. Incorporate public libraries, existing school
   54  facilities, or institutions of higher learning.
   55         2. Allow for students participating in the pilot project to
   56  acquire micro-credits at any time within or outside the academic
   57  year.
   58         3. Develop an articulation model to transition micro
   59  credits into traditional credits within the district schools.
   60         (3) The Department of Education, the State Board of
   61  Education, and the Board of Governors of the State University
   62  System shall study the potential of implementing a micro-credit
   63  system statewide, including the option of micro-credits for
   64  enrolled postsecondary education students or accepting micro
   65  credits from high school students who apply for admission. By
   66  July 1, 2015, the department and boards shall assess the
   67  progress made in the pilot project, release their respective
   68  findings, and produce model legislation for the implementation
   69  of a micro-credit system statewide.
   70         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.