You haven’t nodded off, have you?

I hope all of you out there across Florida are still alert and active! It’s science textbook adoption season and we need  you to look alive. Do you know when your school district is opening up textbook review to the general public? Here in my district, Volusia County, public review is this coming week (Public Invited to Review Instructional Materials Slated for Adoption). So, let this serve as a reminder to you to research when your district’s review period is and participate. And be on heightened alert for any antiscience shenanigans that may result from your district’s local review.

Will there be any antiscience push back? Well, have you been keeping up with the news? Florida lawmakers consider requiring schools to post “In God we trust”:

Contending Florida’s school children need closer ties to the state’s foundations, a state House subcommittee on Tuesday unanimously backed a bill to require the posting of the words “In God We Trust” in a “conspicuous place” at all public schools.

“It’s important for our students to realize the civic history of our state, and one portion of that history is the fact that we do trust in God,” said Rep. Ralph Massullo, a Citrus County Republican who is co-sponsoring the measure.

But we fortunately have some voices of reason on our side: Nathan Crabbe: Stop the assault on science:

So how are Florida’s lawmakers working to prepare our state’s students? Sadly, they’re doing the exact opposite by pulling science out of classrooms and putting in religion.

A state law approved last year expands the ability of residents to challenge public school instructional materials. Neighboring Marion County has already received complaints about science and history books, while other districts have also received challenges to science materials centered around the teaching of evolution.

This session, lawmakers are considering making matters worse with legislation that would allow citizens to make their own recommendations for classroom materials. Brandon Haught, a founding board member of Florida Citizens for Science, suggested in a column for the Orlando Sentinel that the bill would open the door to creationist publications in schools.

If you’ve let these issues slip to the back burner lately, please take some time to refocus. Our schools need you!

[Edited to add:] Here’s information on Orange County, can anyone attend? “The School Board of Orange County will accept public comment on the 2017-18 Science Adoption Selections at the February 13th, 2018 regularly scheduled School Board Meeting.” https://www.ocps.net/departments/curriculum__instruction_and_digital_learning/instructional_materials/textbook_adoption_selections/

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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