Florida bill could let nonscientific theories be taught in science classes

power plant / Seán Kinane/WMNF News
TECO's power plant in Apollo Beach spews greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. By Seán Kinane/WMNF News (Jan. 2010).
Anna Eskamani of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida
Anna Eskamani. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (March 2016).

A new bill in the Florida Legislature 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.

One critic of the bill, Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando), is a newly-elected  state representative in House District 47.

“This bill would allow school districts to teach Florida students, quote, ‘alternatives’ to concepts deemed as controversial theories. In this case speaking specifically to human-caused climate change and evolution.”

You oppose this bill. Why do you oppose it?

“I do. I believe firmly that we don’t need alternative facts in our schools and we need science. And science is not controversial. It’s actually necessary and it helps to explain how the world operates.

“So, we’re setting a foundation for our young people to be successful as they grow into different career paths. Having a foundation of science is essential to their success.”

The group that wrote this bill is called the Florida Citizen’s Alliance. What do you know about that group and what influence they have in the Legislature?

“The Florida Citizen’s Alliance influence is dwindling. And I think that’s a good thing. This is a very extreme organization.

“And I’ll also add that the Senate sponsor [Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala)] has a long history in advocating for different subjects that really just have no place in our school settings. The Senate sponsor has also supported different Confederate organizations.

“So, this bill really is not grounded in common sense. It’s grounded in some personal agenda that really is a disservice to maintaining what should be an effort to improve our schools, not degrade the curriculum that they’re subscribed to teach.”

“…It goes back to why it’s so important to keep ‘alternative facts’ out of our schools and focus on a perspective where science is not controversial, science is necessary and needed.”

Listen to the full interview here:


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