Twelve days ago activist Zack Kopplin wrote a long piece for Slate about how Texas’s “charter schools” (special schools that are supported by state money), particularly those using the Responsive Education Solutions system, are openly teaching creationism. It is, of course, illegal to teach creationism in public schools, for it violates the First Amendment mandating the separation of church and state. Court after court has supported this stand,the most recent being the Tammy Kitzmiller,et al v Dover Area School Board in 2005 Now Slate has published a complementary map showing where in the U.S. publicly-funded schools teach creationism and guess what folks? Florida is one of the worst.
At least 164 schools in our state of Florida are teaching creationism while participating in the state’s tax credit scholarship programs for disabled children and children from low-income families.These include private religious schools and many charter schools, all receiving public funded money,many through Florida’s school voucher programs. These bastions of scientific education, freely express their intensions in statements of learning, such as in this one from the First Baptist Academy of Jacksonville, “In Science, our teachers seek to help students learn how to use God’s wisdom and discernment to expose the false information that the world teaches, and reinforce the Truth of Creation and the Creator found in God’s Word the Bible.” So much for teaching “both sides”
This is a major problem to the academic integrity of our state and I’m certain that this issue will be seriously addressed at our AGM next month.