A columnist in their corner

The group behind the two very bad “instructional materials” bills currently languishing in the state legislature apparently has a newspaper columnist in their corner. I don’t believe I’ve read Brent Batten’s work before in the Naple Daily News but I’m told that he’s a conservative. As such, Batten has written an article about how the bills are stalled. He goes on at length about the alleged benefits of the bills. And he barely mentions one single objection (out of the many we in opposition have) while quickly dismissing it.

Have a look at the heavily one-sided piece here: No guarantee of book bill’s passage. There is a comments feature on the column but you have to sign up to leave one, I believe.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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2 Responses to A columnist in their corner

  1. Pierce R. Butler says:

    Batten cites Recent videos from the undercover filmmakers at Project Veritas…, which should raise red flags all around.

    The misnamed “PV” comes from the febrile brain of James O’Keefe, notorious for stupid stunts and dishonest videos. O’Keefe “earned” most of his fame from a set of “exposés” of Planned Parenthood purporting to show criminal activity, promoted featuring himself dressed as a caricature of a pimp, but soon revealed as even more egregiously distorted than the currently infamous “Center for Medical Progress” vids whose producers were recently indicted by a Houston grand jury.

    Either Batten hasn’t done his homework, or feels happy to promote liars as reliable sources. Either way, he fits in perfectly with creationists and teabaggers.

  2. Anne Hartley says:

    Thanks, Florida Citizens for Science. There are so many problems with these poorly written and ill-conceived bills, it’s hard to know where to begin.

    • The co-authors of these bills are the same political activists who reject state influence in standards, testing, etc. Yet, they want the state to dictate how school districts should appoint instructional materials selection committees and conduct meetings.

    • They claim that only parents are qualified to make decisions for kids, yet now want to allow any citizen to challenge textbooks, videos, assignments. Not only that, if a district doesn’t agree with them, the challenger can appeal in the Circuit Court.

    • They complain about wasting taxpayer dollars on education, but don’t mind wasting taxpayer dollars on lawsuits challenging classroom materials. They claim they’re going to make publishers rewrite textbooks that they believe are factually inaccurate. Are they going to ask publishers of novels to black out the passages that they feel are immoral? Who gets to decide that for all children?

    They don’t have a problem wasting taxpayer dollars by reassigning to school districts tasks that are performed now more efficiently at the state level. Discounts on bulk sales of textbooks will disappear. Currently, textbooks are purchased on 5- or 6-year cycles. Who will cover the cost of purchasing new materials out of cycle?

    Let educators decide which materials are best for implementing the curriculum.

    Let parents guide their own child’s education by collaborating with teachers. We don’t want board-appointed morality or fact-checking committees. Reject these bills that allow any citizen to challenge instructional materials in circuit court. In our county, frivolous legal challenges have already wasted hundreds of thousands of district operational funds. These bills will provide new opportunities to waste funds that should go to kids.

    The same groups that co-authored these bills also helped our two education “reform” charter-school-founder board members get elected last year after they signed a “Contract with Collier County, Florida, Voters.”

    Two candidates affiliated with this same charter school are running for school board in August. Only one has to be elected for these “reformers” to have the majority of votes, then they can make any decision they want for all of our kids.

    As the campaign begins, challenge the candidates to explain their vision for the future of Collier County Public Schools. We know what they don’t like. What are their plans for our schools?

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