Where's the problem?
As the Senate education committee gears up to debate Sen. Ronda Storms "academic freedom" bill today, a recently released committee staff analysis raises this point: "According to the Department of Education, there has never been a case in Florida where a public school teacher or public school student has claimed that they have been discriminated against based on their science teaching or science course work."
Sound familiar? The Gradebook raised this issue three weeks ago.
The staff analysis also references the nature-of-science component of the new science standards to conclude: "Taken as a whole, the science standards encourage teachers and students to discuss the full range of scientific evidence related to all science, including evolution." Does that mean Storms' bill – which would give teachers the "right and freedom to objectively present scientific information relevant to the full range of scientific views" on evolution – is redundant?
The committee packet also includes a proposed amendment from Sen. Stephen Wise, who is co-sponsoring Storms's bill. We'll hear more about all this in a bit …
- Ron Matus, state education reporter