Still more Florida news
Short enough for my dial-up connection but took a few minutes to load.
(2) The proposed science standards may be viewed here.
(3)Volusia County school board members were interviewed about the proposed standards. Their statements have been interpreted as supporting the proposed state standards but they mostly did not expressly state support for the wording of the proposed state standards -- the board members mostly just said things like, "religion should be taught at home," "evolution should be taught in school," and "I'll support whatever decision the state board of education makes." The Florida Citizens for Science knows of only one Florida County school board, Monroe County's, that has actually passed a resolution supporting the proposed standards as written; about a dozen county school boards have passed resolutions opposing the proposed standards as written. Another county school board, Bay County's, passed a resolution opposing the proposed standards as written. The Bay County resolution was different from many or all of the others -- it recommends that the state science standards be reworded to “allow for balanced, objective and intellectually open instruction in regard to evolution, teaching the scientific strengths and weaknesses of the theory, rather than teaching evolution as dogmatic fact.” Many or all of the other county school board resolutions said something like "evolution should not be presented in a manner that excludes other theories of the origin of life." I prefer Bay County's resolution. The Putnam County school board is scheduled to discuss on Feb. 19 -- the day of the state board's decision -- a resolution regarding the state science standards; the school board's agenda does not say whether the resolution supports or opposes the proposed standards and does not say whether any action will be taken on the resolution, and any action will almost certainly be too late to affect the state board's decision.
(4) Feb. 11 was supposed to be the date of the last public oral hearing, but the state board of education decided to hear one more hour of public testimony at the meeting on Feb. 19, when the decision on the proposed state science standards is scheduled to be made. Info is here.
Hearing public testimony on Feb. 19 is unfair to those who have already testified at previous oral hearings. Many of those who have already testified at oral hearings went to a lot of time and trouble to testify. Some traveled hundreds of miles and some took time off from work. Their testimony is now going to be drowned out by new public testimony at the Feb. 19 meeting of the state board of education. Of course, these people who have already testified can go to the time and trouble of appearing at the Feb. 19 meeting but they might not get a chance to testify — the maximum number of public speakers is 20. Maybe what the board of education should do instead is just make a tentative decision on the proposed state standards and then have a public comment period for that decision. I think that in general, administrative agencies and the courts -- especially the Supreme Court -- should initially issue tentative decisions and then have public comment periods for them.
(5) The state board of education is considering adding the term "theory" or "scientific theory" to the evolution education standards. This Darwinist article moans that this might be too big a concession to the fundies. The state legislature is breathing down the neck of the state board of education, threatening to add "theory" if the board does not.
(6) A Florida newspaper took a poll of public opinion about evolution and evolution education. I don't understand why the circle graph for the question "which of these do you think should be taught in public schools?" shows results only for respondents with school-age children. Also, the margin of error for this circle graph is likely to be large because of a small sample size. Anyway, it looks like the Darwinist tail is trying to wag the dog.
(7) A graph on this webpage grossly exaggerates the differences by using 270 as the base of the graph. Also, the number of green counties -- only two (should be only one because only Monroe County actually passed a resolution supporting the proposed state science standards as written) -- is much too small to yield a statistically significant result.
Labels: Evolution education (new #1)