Hard work does pay off

I’ve been working overtime helping Florida Citizens for Science’s campaign against bills in the state legislature that we know will give power to creationists and climate change deniers to harass school boards across the state.

I wrote an op-ed and submitted it to several newspapers but didn’t hear back from any for a while. Then a couple of University of Florida professors contacted me, saying they had spoken with a Gainesville Sun editor who had received my piece. The editor liked it but preferred to publish something written by a local. So, I worked with the professors to write a new op-ed, which ran in today’s (Sunday) print edition. It actually was posted online Friday night. Here’s an excerpt from Bill Seeks to Hijack Educational Standards:

Florida’s education standards were created cooperatively with input from Florida educators and parents, as well as business and community leaders. The instructional materials bill’s real goal has nothing to do with improving or enhancing the standards. Instead, it is a thinly veiled attempt by a special interest group to hijack Florida education and provide a new avenue to infuse their agenda into public schools.

Then I was surprised when a friend sent me a link to the Tallahassee Democrat. Every time I’ve submitted something to a newspaper, someone contacts me to verify who I am before running it. The Democrat didn’t. But that’s OK. Here’s an excerpt from Anti-science education bill not benign:

This bill requires school boards to appoint hearing officers to consider nonsense complaints, in essence giving protestors on a crusade nearly equal weight in the instructional materials selection process as education and subject matter experts.

This bill is a disaster and your local school board can very likely be a casualty.

The feedback I’ve gotten from these op-eds has been awesome. Folks have emailed and posted on Facebook to let me know they appreciated it because they hadn’t known about the bill. That makes all the extra hours worth it.

I also keep in regular contact with the folks at the National Center for Science Education. They’ve been keeping track of events here: Florida’s antiscience bills denounced.

Now the real test is to see if any of this results in an impact on the bill. We’ll find out soon.