Writing in the Lakeland Ledger, Floridian Citizens for Science president Jonathan Smith points to some alarming numbers about private schools which receive voucher money:
How well are the millions of taxpayers’ dollars being put to use? We at Florida Citizens for Science are concerned with the results of recent research, which has shown that at least 164 voucher-accepting schools in our state teach creationism in the science classroom, with many of those schools located in Polk County. Not only do these schools teach that the earth is just 6,000 years old and that humans walked with dinosaurs, they are also hostile to established science, claiming that much of modern biology and cosmology are secular lies.
Their advanced-placement classes also grossly ignore the science standards set by the College Board and are worthless to any students who plan to attend college.
Surely, we should be demanding why these schools are not being held accountable and why their unwitting students should suffer academically as a result.
Only two legislative sessions ago, the Florida Senate turned over an entire college campus to the control of one senator to become a stand alone science and technology university. And what happened to all that happy talk from the Florida Chamber of Commerce about needing trained STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professionals to emerge among Florida students?
It’s clear that the kids from these 164 voucher schools won’t be college-ready. Nor will they have to follow Common Core. Someone ought to ask the Chamber about how they reconcile their advocacy for Common Core – which presumably makes kids college-ready and prepares them to be part of a global workforce – with their voucher advocacy.
Have we stumbled upon another ends-justifies-the-means scenarios? Its more important for many Florida republican legislators and the Florida Chamber to crush the state’s public schools. So what if some kids along the way are left behind or suffer irreparable harm.