Will Florida science standards be revisited before end of 2011?
After the bruising battle over the new state science standards ended in February, everybody thought the new standards were good to go until 2014. But are they? Maybe not, according to some overlooked wording in one of last spring's major education bills and the opinion of a key legislative staffer.
SB 1908 requires the state Board of Education to adopt top-notch Next Generation academic standards by the end of 2011. And that apparently includes another set of science standards, because the BOE adopted the latest standards a few months before the bill passed and was signed into law by Gov. Charlie Crist.
The Department of Education recently asked an attorney with the Legislature's joint Administrative Procedures Committee for his opinion. And the lawyer, Brian Moore, said the law seems to be clear. "I think they have to adopt everything again," he told the Gradebook this morning.
Does that mean the DOE has to undertake another full-blown, monthslong review of the standards? That's not clear. But SB 1908 says the education commission must submit proposed Next Generation standards to teachers, experts and others for "review and comment." Then they go to the governor, the Senate president and the House speaker at least 21 days before the BOE considers adoption.
If the Florida science standards need to be revisited before the end of 2011, that's good. The following errors need to be eliminated -- these errors were completely overshadowed by the controversy over whether to call evolution a "scientific theory":
(1) -- the statement that evolution is the "fundamental concept underlying all of biology." How can that be true when 13% of respondents in a recent national survey of science teachers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that an "excellent" biology course could exist that does not mention Darwin or evolution theory at all? Why can't these Darwinist crackpots recognize that there are some areas of biology where evolution is irrelevant?
(2) -- defining "scientific theories" as being "well-supported" and "widely accepted" by definition. For one thing, that definition is incorrect -- there are strong scientific theories and weak scientific theories. Also, state science standards should not define terms -- defining terms should be left to standard dictionaries. Giving non-standard definitions of terms creates confusion.
Labels: Evolution education (new #4)