New Instructional Materials for Science 2018

The Florida Department of Education issued a “Call for Reviewers Invitation for Science” back in August 2017 in preparation for the review and adoption of new science instructional materials in 2018.

Every year the FDOE reviews and approves a list of recommended textbooks for that year’s academic subject. The previous year it was Social Studies. This year (2017-2018) it is Science. Once the state compiles a list of approved instructional materials, each of the state’s school districts then select from the list the books they want to purchase to be used in their classroom for the next several years. Reviewing and approving these instructional materials is important work and we know without a doubt that our opposition — those who challenge the validity of evolution and climate change and vaccines — will be out in force. We need to step up to the plate to ensure that the textbooks selected are of the highest quality.

We need you. Without you, we can’t do this.

Go to the FDOE Instructional Materials website. Go to the pdf document “Call for Reviewers Invitation for Science”. Below is a copy and paste of some of the relevant sections (but please go read the full document for yourself, these are just excerpts):

To evaluate the quality of instructional materials for use in district classrooms, the Florida Department of Education (the department) is seeking reviewers with content expertise and an indepth understanding of the current Florida Standards. State standards detail what students should know and be able to do as the result of a quality educational program. Instructional materials shall be made available electronically to the state instructional materials reviewers, who shall complete an electronic evaluation of the items to assess whether the materials align to the Florida Standards.

[…]

State Reviewer Qualifications:
State instructional materials reviewers will hold one or more of the following credentials in the field of Science:
1. A master’s degree or higher;
2. Certification;
3. Substantial experience with evidence of Science content expertise and student achievement;
or
4. Recognition as a Science content expert. Such recognition may include, but is not limited to, awards received or publications related to the field of Science.

[…]

State Instructional Materials Reviewer Registration:
To register as a reviewer:
Open the hyperlink https://app2.fldoe.org/BII/InstructMat/Evaluation/Account/Login.aspx and select the Register link.
Select State Instructional Materials Reviewer under account type, and complete the  required registration information page.
Please be sure to retain your Login Name and Password; you will need to access the IM Review Portal upon your account being activated.
All reviewer notifications for the review process will be sent via email; hence, please be sure to provide an accurate email address.

Many school districts try to get a head start on the textbook selection process, soliciting bids from publishers before the FDOE’s list is produced simply because if they waited for the list, there wouldn’t be time for local review, selection and purchasing before the next school year. With that in mind, there will be a public input time at both the state level and each local school district level. This is when we anticipate the major problems could start. You need to be there to inspect the books yourself and then speak up on behalf of the quality materials against anti-science attacks that could come. See our issues pages on Textbook Challenges Bill 2018 and Florida’s new Instructional Materials Law to learn why we are so concerned about this process.

Also see: Marion County to review and approve textbooks on their own and Brevard County asking for help with science materials selection.