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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Time for Florida to adopt national science standards?



With a draft of national science standards due soon, Floridians with a passion for the subject -- and that's quite a few people, given the recent frenzy to promote all things STEM -- are talking about whether the Sunshine State should abandon its own curriculum for the latest model.

A growing consensus seems to favor going national.

Florida Citizens for Science leaders this week voiced their backing, as did FSU physics professor Paul Cottle, one of the members of the team that drafted the state's current standards.

"The release will give the Board an opportunity/excuse to abandon the plan to modify the existing Florida standards that was discussed at the last Board meeting and simply state its tentative intention to adopt the national standards when they become available," Cottle wrote on his blog. "Fiddling with the present flawed standards doesn’t make any sense."

Flawed? The Thomas B. Fordham Institute gave Florida's latest updates a C in its annual evaluation of national science standards, stating:

"The document starts out well at the primary level, but in the higher grades it weakens into poor organization, ambiguous statements, and basic errors. One has the impression that the writers were pushing the limits of their scientific expertise at the higher grades. Taken as a whole, the document does not provide a solid foundation for a rigorous K-12 science curriculum."

It's been noted by many that when the State Board of Education meets on May 9, it might resolve to adopt the national science standards. The board already has signed on to the common core for reading and math. What do you think Florida should do?

[Last modified: Thursday, April 26, 2012 11:17am]


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