The instructional materials bill in the Senate has now been scheduled for a hearing in the education committee March 27th. Last year the bills didn’t make it on to any committee calendars. So this is an unfortunate step forward for them them this year. Call education committee senators now. Refer to our Instructional Materials bills ’17 blog post category for background information on this bad bill that can have a significant negative impact on science education.
The group behind these bills is Florida Citizens’ Alliance. In news stories that have been published about these bills so far we’ve pointed out that evolution and climate change could be targets. But representatives of the Alliance blow off our arguments, claiming that’s not a goal of their campaign. That’s a very bold lie.Â They want materials that “Provide a non-inflammatory, objective, and balanced viewpoint on issues.”Â They constantly tout their Objectionable Materials list [link to pdf] as proof that these bills are needed. Scroll down on that document to page 8 and you will find:
â€œFlorida History: People And Nationsâ€ Authors: Anatole Mazour, John Peoples, Publisher: Harcourt. In Collier and Marion Counties so far, teams in Volusia, Okaloosa, Charlotte and Brevard are in processâ€™. This book is full of factual errors and half-truths. http://goo.gl/vYTYtR
That link takes you to a page on their website that has several “objections” to “factual errors and half-truths” about evolution. And another objectionable material complaint is also on page 8:
World History- Ancient Civilization: Authorâ€ Holt McDougal, Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt 6th grade History: These two pages teach the children that we descended from apes. This is stated as a fact not a theory.Â http://goo.gl/MNqVBm
That link takes you to another page with this significant red flag: “Nowhere in the material is a balanced discussion of the biblical explanation.”
And just a few days ago, the Alliance reported a victory in getting supplemental materials removed from 6th grade classrooms in Brevard County that referred to man-made climate change as fact. (Note: we need to research this claim. If anyone reading this is in Brevard County, please help us verify this.) In response to one statement found in the materials, the objection was:
This statement leads the child to believe that man made global warming is a scientific fact, when it is not. Man made global warming is a hoax, based only on computer models and false data, and is an injustice to the child, by not teaching scientific fact. It is pure and unadulterated false propaganda.
Representatives of the Alliance are clearly lying with the proof seen right there on their own website and in their own materials promoting the bills! A clear goal of these bills is to target evolution and climate change.
Don’t let them get away with this. Contact the senators on the education committee. Challenge this bill on behalf of science education in our state!