Archive for September, 2013

Another step closer

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

My book (Going Ape: Florida’s Battles over Evolution in the Classroom) has inched a bit closer to the publishing finish line. The copy editor had hacked and slashed my writing to bits and shipped it to me to stitch back together. After a couple of weeks full of crying and cursing, including a week-long “vacation” from the office that was spent slaving away from dawn to past dusk, I finally revived my creation. It looks much better now. The wordy fat is trimmed away. Meandering narratives are straightened and strengthened. And all the embarrassing errors are rooted out, hopefully. Today I shipped the manuscript back to the copy editor who will do a final bit of tweaking. Then it will be shipped off for typesetting!

California Adopts NGSS with Unanimous Vote

Monday, September 9th, 2013

On September 4, California became the 6th state to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) after a unanimous vote. Click here to read a blog post by Education Week‘s Erik Robelen. Click here to read the press release from the California Department of Education. California along with Massachusetts, DC and South Carolina are thought to be the leading “A” states according to Fordham’s evaluations. What now for Florida, what are our options?  Do we reject the NGSS,based on the negative input towards the common core standards? Do we adopt another states standards, or does Florida revamp it’s own standards and hope for the best?  We need someone to make a decision and make it soon,our students science education lays in the balance.

Oh The Irony

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

As most of you already know I have a preponderance for writting and submitting Op Ed’s and letters to Florida’s newspapers. Once in a while I am contacted by an individual editor and actually asked to write something that is relevant to science education in the state. Two weeks ago I received an e-mail from a newspaper (who will remain nameless) to comment on the current turmoil in Florida’s education system since Tony Bennett’s departure and how I thought it would effect science education in the state. I wrote the Op Ed and decided to use a Cosmological Black Hole as a relevent analogy. This is not unusual practice (see Paul Cottle’s piece on Bridge to Tomorrow) My editorial was rejected by the newspaper with the comment  that “my scientific terminology was beyond the comprehension of the average reader in Florida” I can assure you folks that an average 6th grader should not have had a problem with it. I can’t reproduce the editorial at the moment, due to the fact I have offered it to another newspaper. If it remains unpublished, then I will and let you decide