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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Smith dodges on science standards



Ericjsmith As the debate over Florida's proposed science standards heats up, we tried again to get new education commissioner Eric J. Smith, a science teacher by training, to share his views on evolution, creation and intelligent design. (You might recall we ran the question by him in our weekend interview with Smith a couple of weeks ago.)

Here's what we got (via e-mail):

As a science teacher and department chair, how did you deal with the question of evolution in the classroom?

Given that it has been more than 30 years, I really couldn't speak to the specifics of my lesson plans, but as Commissioner my goal is to prepare students as best as possible for whatever career or post secondary educational choices they may make.

Do you believe evolution should be taught in the science curriculum?

This decision will ultimately be made by the State Board of Education. The public input period for the web concluded on Friday and we have two public hearings set to take place in January. I'm going to reserve my opinions on the matter until all of that input has been received and I have had a chance to review it.

Does the state need to include other "alternatives" such as creation or intelligent design and let the students decide for themselves?

Again, I'm going to reserve my opinions on the matter until I am able to review public input and listen to what is said during the public hearings.

Also, I heard the standards were being revised some more. Any info you can pass along about that?

The writers and framers will be meeting in mid-January to review the public and expert input that has been received and will determine at that time if revisions to the current draft are needed.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:30am]


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