St. Petersburg Times on our standards

The St. Petersburg Times had already noticed the potential problem with state science standards in a post on their Gradebook blog Nov. 3. Today the newspaper published a full story on the issue: Could science standards devolve into new battle?

The response from one critic: “Hallelujah,” said Terry Kemple, a Christian activist in Brandon.

Kemple, who helped lead the fight against the standards, said opponents would relish another chance for input. “This is an opportunity for both sides to step back and let this be a fairer endeavor,” he said.

Scientists give the standards top ratings for accuracy and depth, but Christian conservatives say they’re dogmatic.

“Maybe the legislators simply overlooked this and there’s a simple solution,” said Brandon Haught, spokesman for Florida Citizens for Science, which strongly supports the new standards. But until then, the group would “hope for the best but plan for the worst,” he said.

The new law says the education board must adopt a review schedule for new standards by Dec. 31, 2008. The board next meets Dec. 2 in Orlando.

Another Department of Education spokesperson said it was not clear when the science standards would be revisited, or how intensely they’d be reviewed. “They’re going to take a look and see if there’s anything new in the science world that they need to put in,” the spokesperson said.

Every Board of Education member is up for reappointment by 2011.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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