2018 started off with a bang for me. We’re heading into the final week of the state’s annual legislative session and I’ve been very active in telling the public all about a couple of bills that could significantly impact science education, especially lessons on evolution and climate change. Right now it looks like neither bill will cross the finish line, but you never know. Surprises could pop up before sine die. To see what I’ve been up to, check out this article in Nature that I was interviewed for: Florida residents could soon get the power to alter science classes. I was quoted in the Orlando Sentinel article: Sen. Baxley files school bill to require ‘controversial’ science topics be taught in ‘balanced’ way. I wrote a column published in the Daytona Beach News Journal: Banish ‘evolution is just a theory’ with sound science education. It was also published in the Tallahassee Democrat: Banish ‘just a theory’ dunces with sound science education. A different column I wrote made it into the Orlando Sentinel: Attacks on science education intensify — push back, Florida.
Meanwhile, a law passed in Florida last year has been causing fires to pop up in a couple of school districts when it comes to textbooks. There have been a few complaints about evolution. Read the Associated Press article: New Florida law expected to increase conflict over textbooks. I was also quoted in a Tampa Bay Times column by Bill Maxwell: Welcome to Florida, the benighted state.
“The alliance is pushing their narrow ideology on the public schools in any way they can and so far they’re meeting with success,” Haught said. “I can’t speak for the other academic subjects they’re targeting, but I know beyond a doubt that their ideology when it comes to science is grossly ignorant and doesn’t belong anywhere near a classroom.”
And then there’s my day job, you know, the one that pays the bills and prepares our children for their futures: high school science teacher. It’s my fourth year of teaching and yet I’m still in a daily cycle of stress and exhaustion. I don’t know if that’s a permanent state of being or if the stress will ever slacken with experience. But I think I am more ready for the coming spring break than my students. Oh, and I also am an adviser for the junior class SGA.
Despite my vegetative state when I get home every evening, I found a subject that got me steamed enough to write a newspaper op-ed on a completely different subject than my usual. It was recently published in the Orlando Sentinel: Marine who’s now a teacher: Guns on campus dead wrong.
I’m not done. I’ve been interviewed for a few more upcoming news stories about science education. They should be published sometime this month.
What’s next? Bring it on!