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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Evolution optional at Florida Virtual School?

The state-funded Florida Virtual School has gotten tons of positive ink. It’s innovative and cost effective. But is it also becoming a refuge for parents who don’t want their kids learning about evolution in traditional public schools? Maybe so, according to this May 20 article in the right-wing WorldNetDaily, which surfaced for mainstream consumption on the Florida Citizens for Science blog.

The article highlights the concerns of Christian parents in Palm Bay who say FVS teachers allow their daughter, who is home schooled, to opt out of assignments that conflict with their Christian beliefs. They cite an assignment in a marine science class in which the girl was supposed to create a marine life form (imaginary, we assume) that would evolve and adapt to its environment over time – an assignment in line with Florida’s new science standards.

“I spoke to the teacher and told her we don’t believe in evolution. We believe in creation,” said the girl’s mother, according to the article. “I told her my daughter was going to do this assignment in terms of creationism, which she did. The teacher had no problem with it, and she got an A.”

The story raises questions. But it’s Memorial Day, so we can’t immediately get answers. We’re assuming non-home-schooled FVS students would NOT be allowed to opt out of evolution-related assignments in science classes, right? Are FVS rules different for home-schooled kids? Should they be?

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:24am]


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