New Florida Board of Education member has opposed evolution education
One of Florida's leading science education advocacy groups is taking issue with the appointment of former Highlands School Board chairman Andy Tuck to the State Board of Education.
The reason? His stance on evolution science.
Florida Citizens for Science took almost no time after Gov. Rick Scott's announcement to pull out a 2008 article — during the heat of Florida's debate over proposed standards revisions — that quoted Tuck as opposing the teaching of evolution as fact.
"As a person of faith, I strongly oppose any study of evolution as fact at all. I’m purely in favor of it staying a theory and only a theory," he said. "I won’t support any evolution being taught as fact at all in any of our schools."
Tuck, a citrus grower, joined the majority of the Highland School Board on this front, Highlands Today reported at the time.
"We have a problem," wrote Florida Citizens for Science, which has pushed hard to keep evolution in (and creationism out of) the state standards.
Lawmakers have occasionally brought the evolution debate back up, but since the SBOE's narrow vote adopting it, the issue hasn't really gained any traction again. But it's been a few years, and the State Board has not yet moved to consider Next Generation Science Standards, which it took public comment on in the summer. Vice chairman John Padget frequently has called for improved science standards, so the conversation isn't likely over.