We’ve written before about two legislative assauts on science currently pending in the Florida legislature. In Florida Creationism Bill Creeps Forward, we discussed HB 827, introduced by Byron Donalds from Naples.
That bill would permit members of the public to recommend instructional materials for consideration by the state or their district school board, which would then be required to get in touch with the publisher of those materials and allow it to submit a bid for evaluation. It has a companion bill in the Florida Senate — Senate Bill 1644, sponsored by Tom Lee and a couple of other creationists. Two weeks ago it was approved by the Senate Education Committee in a 7-3 vote.
In addition to that, we also wrote Florida Creationism Bill for 2018 — Update. That was about HB 825, which would allow local school districts to use either the state science standards or alternatives “equivalent to or more rigorous than” them — whatever that means. That one has a companion bill in the Florida Senate — SB 966, which was introduced by State Senator Dennis Baxley, an undertaker.
The ongoing craziness in Florida has attracted some serious attention. Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) have posted Nature covers Florida. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Florida’s House Bill 827 and Senate Bill 1644 — similar bills that would make it easier for creationists and climate change deniers to smuggle instructional materials they favor into public school classrooms — were front and center in a recent report (February 23, 2018) in the journal Nature on legislation targeting the integrity of science education.
NCSE provides a link to the Nature article: Florida residents could soon get the power to alter science classes. It quotes NCSE’s deputy director Glenn Branch. You can read it online without a subscription. NCSE says:
Also mentioned were Florida’s House Bill 825 and Senate Bill 966, which would, if enacted, require “[c]ontroversial theories and concepts … [to] be taught in a factual, objective, and balanced manner,” while allowing local school districts to use either the state science standards or alternatives “equivalent to or more rigorous than” them.
We know you’re going to read the Nature article for yourselves, but here’s one excerpt:
[T]he bills approved this month by the education committees in the state’s Senate and House of Representatives … would allow the public to review educational materials used in class and to suggest alternatives. “They would make it easier for creationists, climate-change deniers and — who knows — flat-Earthers to pester their local school boards about their hobbyhorses,” says Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, California. The final decision on whether to follow the recommendations still rests with the school boards.
Anyway, don’t expect publicity in a prestigious journal like Nature to have any effect on the legislators in Florida. If they heard about it, they’d probably think a journal named Nature is peddling porn.
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