Archive for November, 2016

Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Florida students’ performance on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study aren’t anything to be proud of: Florida 8th-graders lag U.S. in math, science.

The results showed that Florida eighth-graders performed worse than the rest of the U.S. in math and science, while fourth-graders fared about as well.

The really interesting results, though, come at the end of the story (these are U.S. stats, not Florida):

The results don’t show any significant difference between eighth-grade boys and girls in math, and a small difference between girls and boys in eighth-grade science.

Boys in 12th grade scored 46 points higher than girls in physics and 30 points higher than girls in advanced math, according to the report.

“The story is much different for advanced twelfth-graders,” Carr said.

You can plow through tons of data, including Florida stats, here: Welcome to TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced Results from 2015. The only state that has separate data available is Florida. It looks like no other state opted to pay for their own results.

Is the sky falling?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Is the sky falling? We may never actually know. Trump’s recent decisions are clearly designed to prevent the public from ever finding out.

Secretary of Education Pick Betsy DeVos May Be a Disaster for Church/State Separation

“More pressing … is the question of whether parents who want to send their kids to a private religious school would be given taxpayer dollars to do so. There’s reason to believe she’ll want to make that an option, laws be damned. DeVos grew up in a Religious Right-loving home and gave money to organizations working to push Christian beliefs through the government. […] Her husband Dick DeVos, a former candidate for governor of Michigan and heir to the Amway fortune, has also backed Intelligent Design,”

Meet Trump’s Pick To Dismantle EPA

Ebell is a ready match for Trump’s climate denial. As part of a 1998 team that included Exxon and other top polluting companies, Ebell put together a communications plan to “undercut the ‘prevailing scientific wisdom’” and convince the American public that climate science was uncertain. The plan identified the American Petroleum Institute, the National Mining Association and other industry trade associations as target funding sources.

Trump to scrap Nasa climate research in crackdown on ‘politicized science’

Nasa’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding in favor of exploration of deep space, with the president-elect having set a goal during the campaign to explore the entire solar system by the end of the century.

This would mean the elimination of Nasa’s world-renowned research into temperature, ice, clouds and other climate phenomena.

In Search Of … Instructional Materials Bills Sponsors

Monday, November 14th, 2016

TextbooksDo you remember the Florida Citizens Alliance? I sure do. They’ve been gnashing their teeth over a wide array of materials they find offensive in a variety of textbooks, including the teaching of evolution as “true” without a religious counterargument. They were behind the filing of Instructional Materials bills in the Florida Legislature during the 2016 session that would have addressed their grievances. We were against their bills then (see our old press release and series of posts). And now the Alliance is looking for allies among the 2017 crop of lawmakers to give it another go.

FLCA leadership and local grassroots teams are actively reaching out to all FL Legislators to successfully pass this bill this 2017 cycle. We need you to respectively remind each of them that 2.7 million Florida students, our children and grandchildren, need their aggressive leadership to save their future as productive citizens of our great state.

Their attempt last year was a dismal failure. The bills were filed but went absolutely nowhere. That doesn’t mean there will be a repeat in the 2017 session. There are new faces. And keep in mind that the country overall is apparently heading in a new direction via the presidential election. We need to be vigilant and prepared.


Teaching Evolution in the South

Saturday, November 5th, 2016 Getty Images / Stan Rohrer This is a great article and well worth reading