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Fresh From Florida: Anyone Can Challenge What Students Learn in School

As if public education could even stand to take another blow in Florida, here it comes. 

I picked up the good ole' Lakeland Ledger, the daily newspaper in my hometown of Lakeland, Fla. My dad had ever so neatly dog-eared an article that he thought I'd find particularly interesting.

New law lets residents challenge what's taught in science class.

I read on. 

Signed into law by Governor Rick Scott, this law lets ANYONE who is a Florida resident, even if they don't have students in the system, challenge what is being taught in our schools. Districts must hire a hearing officer to investigate all of these challenges.

JoeGratz.jpg

For example: Don't want Harry Potter in your neighborhood school library? File a complaint and the hearing officer will then decide whether the challenge is justified, then they can require the school to remove the book in question. This is the case with any instructional material, and has been seen as a whammy to proponents of science education. It seems to be a way to attack and challenge science curriculum (such as evolution, global warming, and other "controversial" science topics that some feel should not be taught in school).

Wake up, Florida. What a waste of resources.

In a time where our public schools are scrimping to save and need more support than ever from our policymakers and the public, where my home district of Hillsborough County is trying to save $130 million in its general fund, this is how we choose to spend our time and money? 

What a difference it would make if our legislators would spend time on issues that positively impacted our students in Florida.

 

Photo courtesy of Joe Gratz.

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