There have been a handful of public forums across the state concerning the state science standards, the most recent being in Orlando (that meeting was taped and can be seen here.) Thousands of comments were collected when the proposed new standards were available on the Internet. The standard’s writers and framers, who are experts themselves, sought the input of various other science and curriculum experts. The state board of education members have been flooded with correspondence on the matter. County school boards have passed resolutions for and against the standards. The news has been full of stories, opinion columns, and letters to the editor. Various organizations from across the state and even across the country have submitted letters and resolutions.
Lot’s of input, wouldn’t you think? Plenty of information to sift through when trying to make a very important decision.
Despite all of the above, the final decision could be swayed by 20 people: 10 for the standards as is, and 10 against the inclusion of evolution in the standards. The board of education is allotting about an hour to public input during their meeting Feb. 19. Up until now, there was not going to be any public comment at all. Something changed, though, here less than a week before the meeting. What happened? I can’t say for certain.
What’s tricky here is that speakers will be allowed on a first come, first served basis. How in the world is that going to be controlled? How do we know that someone won’t sign up as “pro evolution in the standards” but then actually be from the opposite side?
It’s going to be a circus.
I will be there to relay all the excitement to you. I am attending the meeting and I hope to live-blog the event. So, stay glued to your computers Feb. 19 starting about 8:30 a.m., or even earlier. It’s going to be a wild ride.