Florida Board of Education member Donna Callaway gets a brief story about her opposition to the new draft science standards in the St. Petersburg Times today. (We already commented on this issue in a post Nov. 30.)
State Board of Education member Donna Callaway said she will vote against the proposed new state science standards because evolution “should not be taught to the exclusion of other theories of origin of life.” Further, she hopes “there will be times of prayer throughout Christian homes and churches directed toward this issue,” according to a Nov. 30 column in the Florida Baptist Witness, a weekly newspaper based in Jacksonville. The board will vote on the new standards early next year. Educators and scientists have generally given them a good review. Callaway is the highest-profile critic to surface since the draft standards were released in October.
The newspaper’s education blog, The Gradebook, expands on this news brief. And, as can be predicted, the reader comments are in flames. Phil at the Bad Astronomy Blog takes note of the fun and excitement. We also see that The Gradebook is asking around about evolution and intelligent design, and finds that state Rep. Will Weatherford sides with the creationist Trojan horse.
Now comes state Rep. Will Weatherford, the Wesley Chapel Republican who’s already lined up enough votes to become House speaker in 2011. Asked if he supported the evolution-only approach, Weatherford told the Gradebook, “”I’m not a big fan of that.”
“Intelligent design is something I’m personally a fan of, and something I personally believe in,” he said. “But I don’t want to see that jammed down their throats, either. It shouldn’t be slanted one way or the other.”
State officials have added two locations for public meetings to discuss the changes to state science standards that include the addition of evolution for the first time.
The first meeting will be Jan. 3 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at The Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership in Jacksonville, 4019 Boulevard Center Drive.
A second meeting will be Jan. 8 in Miramar from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Everglades High School. 17100 S.W. 48 Court.