South Carolina is the fourth state in which “academic freedom” antievolution legislation failed in 2008, after Florida, Alabama, and Missouri; similar legislation is still active in Louisiana and Michigan.
==> An Orlando Sentinel columnist has some suggestions for how to improve education overall in Florida.
High standards: The Florida Department of Education is doing well here, searching the globe for guidance as it upgrades standards.
“We start the process by identifying where in the world students are most knowledgeable in a subject area and why their performance is superior to ours,” says Mary Jane Tappen, who oversees science and math curriculum.
She has borrowed standards from Finland and Singapore. The challenge is to continually upgrade them and keep politics, like the embarrassing evolution debate, out of it.
==> Boy o boy, they just have it all backwards. I noted a few days ago that a Florida teacher was heading into the frozen north in pursuit of science. Now a student is going on a chilly trip, too. Aren’t folks supposed to be coming to Florida for the weather, not leaving?
Amanda Yongue (pronounced “Young”) is one of only two students who will embark on the trip of a lifetime exploring the Svalbard archipelago, 350 miles to the north of Norway’s North Cape, aboard the ship known as National Geographic Explorer.
“My mom’s only worries are whether I’m going to be warm and what I’m going to eat,” said Miss Yongue, who is having trouble finding warm clothing for the trip.
==> Panhandle science teachers get to eat some alphabet soup … or something like that. Just look at all those acronyms in the first paragraph.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protectionâ€™s (DEP) Learning in Floridaâ€™s Environment (LIFE) program will host 24 teachers for hands-on research projects as part of the Panhandle Area Education Consortiumâ€™s (PAEC) Science, Collaboration: Immersion, Inquiry Innovation (Sc:iii) project. With grant funding from the Florida Department of Education, the Sc:iii project will give a total of 120 science teachers in the Panhandle an opportunity to conduct hands-on research and monitoring alongside scientists, and develop educational programs for area schools.
Hopefully, these teachers can take what they learn and pass it along to their scientifically clueless school board members. You know, the ones up there in the panhandle who passed resolutions against evolution. For more information on the PAECâ€™s Sc:iii project, visit www.paec-sc-iii.org .Â For more information about the LIFE program, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/ed/ .
==> Classroom critters need a summer vacation too.
As nearly 600,000 South Florida students say goodbye to the school year Thursday, an untold number of hamsters, hermit crabs, turtles, fish and other classroom critters will have to find new accommodations for the summer.
==> Now take the words in the post title and see what kind of headline you can dream up. “Wanting to excel, panhandle critters head to South Carolina.”