Two views on the State Board vote
State Board of Education member Donna Callaway, who first announced her opposition to a proposed science standard dealing with evolution in the Florida Baptist Witness, has returned to those pages today to explain why, in her view, "the biggest losers were the students in Florida's public schools." Here's an excerpt:
If there is a victory for those who oppose the evolution standard as written or amended, it is that they stood shoulder to shoulder, not in a fanatical, demanding way as many may have expected. Rather, they stood kindly with a sense of calm assurance, with open and transparent reasoning that confused their opponents who expected a religious battle. This was never that battle; it was a battle over student rights. Those rights were not recognized.
On the other hand, Dr. Paul Gross, lead author of the 2005 Fordham Institute report that panned Florida's science curriculum, issued a news release today blasting the board's decision to add the words "scientific theory" to describe evolution. Gross previously had praised the state's proposed standards as written. He said:
The Board of Education's attempt at a compromise on the teaching of evolution is a political sop to a large and concerned population of Florida voters who believe that on the core issues of science, some other way of knowing (religion, perhaps) is equal or superior to science itself. This may well be good politics. But it is not serious; and, so far as excellent science education is concerned, it is dishonest.