News Roundup

This is a quick roundup of recent news articles associated with current events Florida Citizens for Science has been involved in.

Orlando Sentinel: Director stands up for his Christian voucher schools
The director of three private Christian schools that accept state scholarships takes issue with Sentinel columnist Lauren Ritchie who criticized state spending in voucher schools that teach “fake science and distorted history.”

“We use the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum, and we teach creationism. We also supplement A.C.E. with other materials and welcome diverse dialogue in every area of study.”

National Center for Science Education: Victory in Collier County, Florida

Similar objections have been filed elsewhere in Florida, including in Brevard, Martin, and Nassau counties, but the Collier County school board’s vote was particularly significant because the law was vigorously supported by groups based in Collier County whose members acknowledged that they objected to the treatment of evolution and climate change, among other topics, in textbooks used in the public schools.

Naples Daily News: Evolution, climate change skeptics lose battle over Collier science textbooks

Evolution and natural selection are “a total indoctrination of liberal ideas,” wrote Collier parent Melissa Pind in her complaint. “Very disgusting and disappointing that this is included and no other viewpoint is even mentioned! What a shame that kids’ minds aren’t opened up to other possibilities.”

WINK News: Collier school board, parents debate evolution content in science textbooks

The meeting comes after the school board had already agreed on the new science textbooks back in May. But one formal objection automatically triggered the hearing. Four people in Collier County raised 220 objections altogether.

On one side of the issue, parents like Jim Kelly say the textbooks are too focused on evolution and not enough on other theories.

“When books just present one side of a theory or argument and doesn’t present balance, it’s unfortunate,” Kelly said.

Pine Island Eagle letter to the editor: Non-secular nature of public schools must be preserved

A friend posted an article on a Florida group suing Collier County schools over “unbalanced” science books as a reminder that our local school board elections are really important and that we must all vote. And that includes the August primaries!

Naples Daily News letter to the editor: Textbooks should contain science

State Rep. Byron Donalds’ House Bill 989, passed in 2017, allows any county resident to contest school curricular materials in Florida. So far it has only resulted in stalling the purchase of new textbooks and costing school districts countless hours and precious funding to hear partisan fundamentalist challenges to curriculum materials.

 

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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One Response to News Roundup

  1. Pierce R. Butler says:

    That Pine Island Eagle letter very clearly points out that evolution and climate change are real phenomena accurately described by real science, unlike creationism and global warming denial – yet the writer does use the phrase “preserve the non-secular nature of our public schools” as if unaware of the definition of “secular”.

    She’s on the right side, even if confused about one word – let’s remember we need to help out our allies as well as the general public with educational efforts!

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