Suwannee Democrat

Mayo Free Press

January 30, 2008

Evolution in schools?

New state standard would make teaching of the theory mandatory in the classroom

The Lafayette County School Board unanimously adopted a resolution in protest of a proposed Florida Department of Education revision of the science portion of the Sunshine State Standards at a special meeting on Jan. 25.

According to Fred Ward, Lafayette County superintendent of schools, FDOE is considering new standards which would make the teaching of evolution mandatory in every school and to disallow the teaching of any other explanation about how the earth, universe, and man came into existence.

“The new Sunshine State Standards for Science no longer present evolution as theory but as scientific fact,” Robert Koon, chairperson, said.

At this time, a copy of the draft of the revised Sunshine State Standards is unavailable to the public. For a short period of time in December of 2007, FDOE allowed the public to view the draft and submit their comments. After the commenting period was complete, FDOE removed the link to the document.

FDOE will rule on the matter Feb. 19.

Lafayette County School Board members have always believed students attending Lafayette Elementary and Lafayette High School should be taught science, as should every student in the state. They also understand the importance of every teacher implementing the Sunshine State Standards in their classrooms and have observed how effective they are in improving test scores as well as every student’s ability to learn and retain that knowledge.

The meeting, called for the purpose of voting on the resolution, lasted about 15 minutes.

Be sure to watch for the next installment to this story.

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