Research project for you!

I have an assignment for you folks. The national science standards that many states, including Florida, are considering adopting are predictably under fire due to the prominence of evolution in the draft document. Kansas has hit the news first, firing the initial shot: Kan. official wants evolution concerns considered.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — People who question evolution shouldn’t be treated as “crackpots,” and their concerns should be addressed seriously as states consider new science standards for public schools, an elected Kansas official said Tuesday during a preliminary discussion about the work on new guidelines.

Will the issue crop up here in Florida? I bet you it will:

Willard, a Hutchinson Republican, distributed a nine-page letter criticizing the draft multistate standards from the group Citizens for Objective Public Education Inc., which lists officers in Florida and Kansas. The letter suggested that the draft standards ignore evidence against evolution, don’t respect religious diversity and promote secular humanism, which precludes God or another supreme being in considering how the universe works.

I did a quick Internet search for Citizens for Objective Public Education Inc. and didn’t come up with anything. Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to find out what Florida connections this group has. Who are these Florida officers? We need to get to work on this right now so that we will be prepared for when it all hits the fan here. You can leave your findings in the comments here or contact me directly.

5 Responses to “Research project for you!”

  1. Wesley R. Elsberry Says:

    GuideStar has nothing about the group. That means either 1) they are new and haven’t yet filed a Form 990 or 2) they are not organized as a non-profit entity.

  2. Michael Johnston Says:

    Here in Seminole County, it appears we have a “don’t ask don’t tell” hostile environment. My kids have just enrolled here and I can be your Darwin Pitbull in this county. I’m on it. Thanks

  3. Michael Johnston Says:

    http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_education_edblog/2008/02/seminole-gags-s.html

  4. cope Says:

    Michael,

    Welcome to Seminole County. As a high school science teacher here, I can assure you that we are not being held to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” standard when it comes to teaching evolution and I don’t hesitate to tell students/parents/other teachers and administrators that evolution is the framework on which all of biology is built.

    Also, as one of the writers of the NGSSS in science, you should know that we worked extra diligently (in face of some internal and external opposition) to make sure that topics such as evolution, the big bang and the age of the universe were prominently featured.

    The 4-year-old e-mail and blog post to which you link show a fairly standard boiler-plate response from the county office when the media attempts to contact teachers individually about pretty much any topic. For example, since I teach in Sanford, we were given a similar caveat about the Trayvon Martin case.

    Believe me, Seminole schools would not be enjoying the level of success in terms of state and national recognition that they do if teaching something as important as evolution was being stifled by the school board.

  5. Michael Says:

    That is great news and a huge relief. My two kids nearly aced all the FCATS and I look forward to them continuing to excel in Oviedo schools. Please do not hesitate to contact me if any assistance is needed supporting sound science in my area. Cheers