— Updated: Story about Yecke in the St. Petersburg Times.Â —
The following press release has been sent out to Florida media:
Internet Company Tries to Sanitize Old Information about Yecke
Dr. Cheri Pierson Yecke, K-12 chancellor for Floridaâ€™s Department of Education, has apparently hired a company called ReputationDefender to search the Internet for information about her and, on her behalf, challenge items she disputes. Florida Citizens for Science member Dr. Wesley Elsberry recently received an e-mail from the organization asking him to remove or modify a quote he has on his personal website about Yecke. The quote was taken from a Minnesota newspaper that reported Yecke specifically had included a go-ahead to schools in that state to incorporate â€œintelligent designâ€ into science benchmarks in 2003. Yecke was the Minnesota Commissioner of Education at that time.
The quote a ReputationDefender representative says Yecke disputes is: â€œYecke had explained in her advance publicity for the hearings that schools could include the concept of â€œintelligent designâ€ in teaching how the world came to be.â€
Elsberry reports that the ReputationDefender representative, â€œDave S.â€, admits Yecke has declined to provide the documents that would demonstrate the truth – or falsity – of her complaint. Elsberry also says that the reporter who wrote the original newspaper story has never received any complaint from Yecke concerning the accuracy of his 3-year-old article.
During her time in Minnesota, Yecke was entangled in a controversy over the teaching of evolution and supposed alternative theories in public schools when the state was revamping science standards.
Elsberry is a wildlife biologist who had worked for the National Center for Science Education, and is currently on a one-year leave of absence to be a Visiting Research Associate in the Lyman Briggs School of Science, Michigan State University. Elsberry had helped found Florida Citizens for Science and is still an active member and advisor.
The original newspaper article is at:
Elsberryâ€™s web page containing the disputed quote is at: