Session over; Instructional Materials bills dead

TextbooksThe Florida legislative session is mercifully over and the instructional materials bills Florida Citizens for Science has been tracking are history. These ill-conceived bills would have changed the way textbooks and other educational tools are reviewed and selected, handing entirely too much power to well meaning but non-expert parents and not so well meaning, ideologically driven special interest groups. You can learn more about the bills and why there were bad for science education in FCS’s news release and series of blog posts.

I told the National Center for Science Education this weekend: “We’re fortunate and happy that these bad bills didn’t get out of the starting gate,” Florida Citizens for Science’s Brandon Haught told NCSE. “The good thing to come out of this brief fight is that a clear anti-science motivation behind these bills is now documented. The bills’ sponsors and supporters aren’t likely to give up, though. But we’ll be ready, just as we have been for a full ten years now.”

I predict that the main cheerleaders for these bills, Florida Citizens Alliance, will be back. They have a sizable network and they visited Tallahassee in person to help round up four co-sponsors on the senate bill and 19 co-sponsors on the house bill. They’re worth keeping an eye on.

On the other hand, as I told NCSE, the good thing is that Florida Citizens Alliance handed us all sorts of evidence of their anti-science views, which can be very useful in the future. And we also made some very good friends with other groups opposed to the Alliance’s antics.

(Cross-posted at Florida Citizens for Science)