Thursday, February 2, 2012

Florida Science Standards - Fordham Institute Report

Well, while Florida fared pretty well when it comes to our teachers' quality, the science standards in our schools pretty much smell like a big pile of..., well, 'nuff said.

The Fordham Institute released its evaluation of science educational standards and Florida scored a big, bad D, mostly due to the lack of clarity, but also because both Physics and Chemistry ranked zero.
Surprisingly, even in the "southern" and unscientifically-leaning state like Florida, "controversial" topic such as evolution, gets some praise:

I guess, we have some work to do at home to ensure that out children are well prepared for the challenges of the 21st century
Evolution, on the other hand, is very well covered. Take, for example, the following:
Explain how the scientific theory of evolution is supported by the fossil record, comparative anatomy, comparative embryology, biogeography, molecular biology, and observed evolutionary change. (high school life science) Describe the conditions required for natural selection, including: overproduction of offspring, inherited variation, and the struggle to survive, which result in differential reproductive success. (high school life science) Discuss mechanisms of evolutionary hange other than natural selection such as genetic drift and gene flow. (high school life science)
Even human evolution is treated—a rarity in state science standards:
Identify basic trends in hominid evolution from early ancestors six million years ago to modern humans, including brain size, jaw size, language, and anufacture of tools. Discuss specific fossil hominids and what they show about human evolution. (high school life science)
Barely a handful of states tackle human evolution in their standards, bolstering the life science score of the Sunshine State’s standards.