What the heck is going on in this country? We are having a massive attack of teh stoopid lately.
The latest Florida buffoonery (not to be confused with the last one) is yet another example of the potentially doomed atmosphere of education in Florida.
Via the Florida Citizens for Science blog comes the news that Charlie Carraway, the Director of the Office of Instructional Materials at the Florida Department of Education, has sent out an email urging people to attend public meetings to take all the science out of the state science standards.
Her email is full of the same dumb stuff we in the rationally-based universe are familiar with: Evolution is just a theory, blah blah blah. What's very, very interesting about this is that Ms. Carraway was not summarily fired, or forced to resign. Instead, she was reprimanded and told not to do it again.
There are obvious comparisons to the Texas situation where Chris Comer was forced to resign. However, the persecution of the rational by fundamentalists becomes more clear upon even the tiniest closer inspection. Chris Comer did not make any statement about evolution other than to tell people that a talk was being given about Intelligent Design, but was forced to resign by fundamentalists in power in the Texas Education Agency. Carraway made a clear statement about evolution being wrong, and did it after stating her authority as being a state employee in the education field and only got a reprimand.
I'll note that she sent the email from her personal account, but in it she pointed out her position as an official in state education clearly and on purpose, to give the email "credibility".
So if you work for a group in Texas that is supposed to uphold science, and you do so, you are forced to resign. If you work for a similar group in Florida and try to tear down science, you are given a slap on the wrist.
Happily, Carraway is in no position to influence the standards, except as any of us are: by making some noise and getting the public involved. Well, she's certainly done that. Let's hope that the blogs and newspapers show her demands to be as hollow and wrong as all the others we have seen in the past, and almost certainly will be in the future, too.
Tip o' the hat to Brandon Haught from the Florida Citizens for Science.