The proposed science standards for Florida are different from the old standards. One way in which they differ is that the word “evolution” appears in the proposed standards. There were four previous public meetings for comment on the proposed standards, including one in Orlando.
Well, now there is a media advisory out that just one more meeting is being held for public comment. It’s this next Monday, the 11th. It is being held in the daytime, and the state board of education will be watching the proceedings via webcast or by video recording. I believe that this is the only meeting that has had that sort of guaranteed direct linkage to the board. The decision on adoption will be taken in a meeting on the 19th, at which the public cannot speak.
I have some qualms about the way this came up and was organized and executed. If one were looking for a way to minimize the input of teachers and educators from colleges and universities, I could hardly pick a better time than to hold a meeting at midday on a school day. The other meetings were evening meetings. The location is essentially at the Orlando airport. Will there be out-of-state folks dropping in on the proceedings, and how much advance notice might they have gotten to schedule flights if so?
Needless to say, it is vitally important that the board of education receive a clear message from those interested in advancing the state of science education this coming Monday. If this specially convened forum is conceded to the antievolution movement, it is likely to contribute to years of continued poor science education. Please do not let the antievolution movement appear to take the final public word on the issue. Show up and let them know where you stand on this. Don’t just ask to take off from work; convince your boss to go with you.
If you absolutely cannot make the meeting, please do go, right now, and sign the online petition supporting the proposed science standards. Joe Wolf of Florida Citizens for Science is planning to present the list of signers to the petition at Monday’s meeting, so help give him a longer list to deliver.
Now, about the meeting:
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February 6, 2008
Final Public Hearing on Proposed Science Standards to be Held in Orlando
In addition to the four public hearings previously held, the Department of Education on Monday will hold one final public hearing for Rule 6A-1.09401, Student Performance Standards – Science. Attending the hearing will be Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith, K-12 Public Schools Chancellor Frances Haithcock and Florida’s Office of Math and Science Executive Director Mary Jane Tappen.
Any individuals wishing to address the State Board of Education regarding the proposed science standards are invited to speak at the hearing. Speakers will be allotted three minutes each. State Board of Education members will view the hearing via live Web cast or will be presented with a video recording of the entire meeting. The State Board of Education will consider the proposed science standards at the February 19 board meeting. Time at this meeting will be reserved for board member deliberation only.
A presentation will be made at the beginning of the hearing regarding the process used to develop world-class science standards, including access points for students with disabilities.
The final public hearing for the proposed science standards will take place:
Monday, February 11, 2008
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Orlando International Airport
9000 Airport Boulevard
To view the hearing via live Web cast, go to www.fldoe.org.