The Phoenix Flyer

Not even one percent of FL’s community college students filled out “intellectual freedom” survey

By: - August 30, 2022 6:52 pm

Tallahassee Community College, on July 21, 2022. Credit: Danielle J. Brown

Florida community college students in droves ditched filling out an “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity” survey designed to express beliefs and viewpoints on campuses, with some minor exceptions.

The Florida Department of Education reported only 7,213 students who responded — 0.5 percent out of 1,361,521 community college students who received the survey during the spring semester.

That response rate is even lower than the already-paltry response from state university students, the Phoenix previously reported.

The results of the survey were sent to the Phoenix over email by Cassie Palelis, the press secretary for the Florida Department of Education, through a link which leads to a page on the department’s website.

It’s not clear how the average Floridian would find the results through using the website without having the link.

The intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity survey is a result of legislation passed during the 2021 legislative session, with the goal of selecting “an objective, nonpartisan, and statistically valid survey to be used by each institution which considers the extent to which competing ideas and perspectives are presented and members of the college community, including students, faculty, and staff, feel free to express their beliefs and viewpoints on campus and in the classroom.”

Critics say the surveys have no trust and no statistical validity, and they’ve been criticized over potential security risks.

The DOE’s results for college students show that South Florida State College, which has multiple campuses in south central Florida, had the highest response rate among students, with about 4.5 percent of 3,107 students filling out the survey.

But only three students from Gulf Coast State College, in Panama City in the Panhandle, responded to the survey.

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Danielle J. Brown
Danielle J. Brown

Danielle J. Brown is a 2018 graduate of Florida State University. She has served as an editorial intern for International Program’s annual magazine and Rowland Publishing. She was born and raised in Tallahassee and reviews community theater productions for the Tallahassee Democrat.