Media Fact Sheet issued

A media fact sheet concerning some common fallacies reporters may encounter while covering the story of evolution in the state science standards was recently sent out. If you are a reporter or editor and didn’t get one, or if you’re just someone interested in what it says, please have a look. We do have a media page on our main website with useful links and contact information.
Also, if you are interested in seeing the draft of the science standards, head over to the Office of Mathematics and Science. The draft standards can be found there.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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18 Responses to Media Fact Sheet issued

  1. firemancarl says:

    Nice Brandon, I hope that instead of going for a sensational story, the news will report the facts ( oh the IRONY!!! ). I for one will be happy to help any way i can, hey, I aint the VP for L-3574 for nuthin’!

  2. firemancarl says:

    Ya know on second thought, maybe I am against this whole science thing. Your press release said we live in a heliocentric solar system. I must contest this. I am nearly 100% sure that the world revolves around my daughters. Or at least that’s the way they act. Maybe this “theory” can be taught as well?

  3. firemancarl says:

    I wrote a letter to Mary Jane Tappen

    As the father of 3 school aged children, i’d like to thank you for
    the hard work you and your committee has put into these new
    standards. It is high time that Florida becomes a leader in science
    & math education and gives our children the chance to compete
    globally. With all of the talk about evolution, it sometimes becomes
    lost in the “battle” that evolution has withstood 150+ years of
    rigorous testing and it has still held up. I look forward to the day
    when companies fall over themselves to relocate here because our
    schools lead the nation in science & math education.

    and here’s her reply

    Thank you for your input.
    Have a great day!

    Mary Jane Tappen
    Executive Director,
    Florida’s Office of Math and Science

    I don’t remember if she is pro creation or not, but I hope getting a letter from a slightly above average( if I say so myself ) joe, will let her know that there are quite few people who want real science taught in our schools.

  4. S.Scott says:

    This is her quote from “The Ledger” –

    Mary Jane Tappen, executive director of the Florida Office for Math and Science, said religion is not appropriate for a science curriculum, noting that some schools teach Bible classes in their humanities programs.

    The proposals were developed by a committee of 33 framers and they looked at world class standards.

    “These are research-based,” she said.

  5. S.Scott says:

    Ooooooh! Look what I found (from SBC Web site)

    It’s the recipe they used to write the resolution.

  6. Karen R says:

    S. Scott – that ls awesome!

    I just spoke with Ms. Jenkins with the News Leader in Fernandina Beach. I pointed her here to you, Brandon, and told her about the media sheet you’d just posted. I asked her not to quote me, and I hope she doesn’t because I stumbled all over myself. I tried to give her a decent overview, and said this site would be an invaluable resource.

    I also got to mention to her that while Nassau edited out the ‘origin of the universe’ phrasing, they left in the equally uninformed ‘origin of life’ text. I hope I managed to convey just how ignorant of science the resolution initiative has been – and that scientifically ignorant people are not who we should depend on for our science standards.

  7. firemancarl says:

    Hey, it looks like there is sanity in this here standards committee after all!

  8. Karen R says:

    Hard dead end with Dr. Williams in Volusia – he said “I am not going to sit down and discuss that with you.” He said he was a busy man, and that if he spoke with everyone who wanted to speak with him, he’d get nothing done. He says he will have to make a decision about it in the future, and that he won’t discuss it until he’s gotten the information that Chris Colwell is handling. He has no interest in discussing this issue with anyone else. I suppose I’ll give Chris’s wife a call tonight and see what she has to say. I’m scheming up some other ways to get his attention – refusal to meet with his constituents might be legally permissible, but it’s unacceptable.

    I’m not sure why he failed to return my previous calls, but I’m glad I caught him. At this point, I plan to do everything in my power to see him turned out of office next election – regardless of how he decides after he’s reviewed it. Oh, boy, am I pissed. He’s not going to be attending the board meeting tomorrow, he says he’s going out of town in the morning. I suppose I’ll have to find another way to turn his head.

  9. firemancarl says:

    He sounds like he is a closet ID supporter. Why would he not meet with anyone? It’s his JOB to hear parents concerns about their children’s education.

  10. Karen R says:

    Now that I’ve cooled down (he really was only the tiniest bit shy of rude) I’ve decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m working on a package of materials I had planned to give local churches that will be perfect for him – I notice he lists a fax number. I’ll also contact Mr. Colwell today, and see when his information should be ready.

    Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m curious – in what way will the Volusia school board be ‘deciding’ on this issue? Now, he didn’t really give me a chance to explain what kind of statement I was looking for, but assuming he listened to my unreturned message, he knew I was specifically interested in the standard’s inclusion of evolution. Regardless, why would this be decided by the school board? Are the state standards voted on by each school board? Will our board be voting on a familiar resolution? I’m perhaps a little over-suspicious, but it seems strange that he would consider this an issue he would be voting on in the future.

  11. Karen R says:

    Oh! I forgot! While I’m still operating on the assumption that he’s terse and ignorant instead of rude and crazy, I’m still ticked that he won’t meet with me.

    Because, you see, the salary for Volusia school board members is $38,067 per year. That’s more than many full time teachers in the county – and it’s an awful lot of money for him to refuse to meet with his constituents. I don’t see that anyone has opted to run against him yet, but I’d sure like to see him turned out this November. This is my county, and that’s my money – he damned well ought to do the job we pay him to do, even the parts he doesn’t like so much.

  12. S.Scott says:

    Karen R – Are you sure that you vote for your superintendent? The reason I ask is – some are appointed by the school board members.

  13. Karen R says:

    He’s a school board member – District 2, greater Daytona Beach. I feel sort of badly, he could still turn this into a learning experience, but I can’t help thinking that I know just the guy to replace him this November.

    The superintendent is indeed selected by the board members here. I still haven’t heard from her, but I’ll show up at the office if the next few followups don’t get returned.

  14. S.Scott says:

    OK – Sorry, I was confused 🙂 (that happens to me sometimes!)

  15. Karen R says:

    Me too!


  16. Grafixer says:

    FL Baptist Witness does not know the “Facts”

    The Florida Baptist Witness had posted an article at that begins with a clear deception that is simply NOT FACT. Please note the first 2 paragraphs of the article below. I attended the Jan. 3rd meeting, and the “debate” was anything but “split”. Several of us were keeping a log of the “fors” and “againsts”, and we found the speakers averaged 5-1 FOR the Science Guidelines as written.

    It is a shame that this “Christian” organization will stoop to such dishonesty to mislead their own people.
    While on the Witness site, I tried to express the truth that I had witnessed. I was not surprised to find that there is no place to comment, or oppose any articles on the site.

    To media folks that may be reporting this in the REAL news, the meeting and the speaker’s comments are a matter of public record. Please consult those records.

    The beginning 2 paragraphs are below:

    “JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—The debate was split at a public hearing in Jacksonville Jan. 3, a meeting scheduled for the public to air questions, comments and concerns regarding the new science standards to be implemented in Florida’s public schools for the next ten years.

    Mary Jane Tappen, executive director of Florida’s Office of Math and Science, said she was “thrilled” by the public interest in the new science standards and by the participation of about 200 people present. Forty-eight people had requested time to speak, and all but three actually offered their opinions. …”

    Hey folks!! Apparently these “Witnesses” did NOT witness the meeting.
    And, if they consider this article “fact”, well… I can understand why they are confused about evolution and science.

    How very, very sad.

  17. Karen R says:

    OK, so I think I’ve come up with my Al Williams action plan.

    I had been drawing up an overview of the situation to distribute to local churches – but I’ve since started angling it for general public use. I’m going to contact all the science teachers at the schools he is responsible for, and give them a copy, with a request that they provide the information to Dr. Williams, since he has refused to hear it from me.

    I’ll be posting an open letter on my website, explaining why I have contacted his teachers. I will also be warning him that public records has provided me with a complete list of his donors in the last election – and my next step will be contacting them with a letter explaining the situation as well as the information I had hoped to cover with him myself. I’ll fax him a copy of the internet letter, which he will hopefully read upon his return.

    I did have a phone conference with Dr. Colwell, who said that he wasn’t sure what Dr. Williams might have been referencing, but that he will not be putting together anything for the board regarding the standards. Given that, I can find no good reason for his refusal to meet with me, or his inability to do the research himself. I’m at this time giving him the benefit of the doubt and not questioning (much) how an educated man wouldn’t already have enough background knowledge to be able to give the paper a statement regarding evolution in science classes.

    Dr. Colwell also confirmed that Volusia will not be voting to approve the standards, because that’s not the way it works. I’m still interested in exactly why he thought he would be deciding on the issue in the future anyway. Dr. Williams is either deceitful or confused or uninformed – none of which please me in my well-paid elected officials. I doubt he wants me to start contacting his donors – we’ll see if he responds before it gets there.

    Firemancarl, I am no longer comfortable meeting with him alone – I want another pair of ears, or I’ll have to get his permission to record our meeting. I’ll make sure any appointments I do make fit your schedule, if you’re still willing. You can e-mail me at to exchange contact information or respond privately.

  18. S.Scott says:

    You go girl!

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