SB 330: Educational Standards for K-12 Public Schools ( Senator Dennis Baxley –District 12)
We do not want to undermine sound STEM education in Florida schools. Past governors and legislators have given lip service to strengthening STEM teaching and trying to attract STEM related jobs to Florida. Opening a backdoor that would allow unscientific principles such as intelligent design or climate change denial into the classroom does not promote STEM education in Florida public schools.
Currently (as of the last update of this blog on 3/14/2019) the bill does not have a companion bill in the House and we hope SB 330 will die in committee. SB 330 will diminish the standards of our education curriculum. We want our students of our state to receive a GREAT education.
SB 330 could affect how science and other subjects are taught; well-established scientific concepts like evolution and human-caused climate change might have to be “balanced” with ideas that haven’t withstood scientific scrutiny if this bill passes. 1 We need to cease embracing debunked ideas in the name of balance.3 The National Center for Science was among the first to lodge an objection to the bill. 4
In addition to worries about what the bill would do to science classes, we are also concerned about other parts of the bill. IF you want to promote the teaching of financial literacy, then you should introduce a separate bill using the phrase “economic theories that have reliably predicted observed outcomes” but not reference any specific theories. It is not objectionable to teach the 100 year old Keynesian and Hayekian economic theories but they should not be singled out in legislation. 5
Some say that parts of SB 330 have the goal of teaching religion in science class.2
5. https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-02-21/modern-monetary-theory-is-not-a-recipe-for-doom. This article isn’t specifically about SB 330. I put the link here to demonstrate that mentioning Keynesian and Hayekian economic theories in the bill might limit the economic teacher in -her/his discussion about the current economic theories.
Here is the link to the bill: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/00330
Links to more articles about the bill: