Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Florida Gets an A!

Whoa... I saw a report from Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009 being passed around the blogosphere today, and I'm shocked! My home state of Florida gets an "A". It's hard to believe, given the amount of crazy, anti-scientific chatter we get in the media and from our politicians around here.
Nevertheless, I am very happy to see that despite all the bad about the local public schools, there is some light at the end of this tunnel.

Over the past decade, Florida has improved its standards more dramatically than
perhaps any other state. The 1999 standards received an F from Lerner (2000)
for their (lack of) treatment of biological and geological evolution and scored
zero in the Fordham Foundation’s 2005 report, “The State of State Science
Standards.” As both reports observed, evolution was not even mentioned by name
at the time. However, after several months of public discussion and debate, the
Florida Department of Education’s writing committee developed a vastly superior
set of standards in 2007. Biological evolution became prominent, human evolution
was explicitly discussed, and geological and cosmological evolution were covered
as well. In February 2008, after fierce creationist opposition, the Board of
Education approved a revised version in which evolution was persistently
referred to as “the scientific theory of evolution.”

More: Why Science Standards are Important to a Strong Science Curriculum and How States Measure Up