Once more into Florida, but this time on a different topic: Education. Florida residents could soon gain more power over determining science curricula. Excerpt:
Last week, Florida’s legislature started considering two related bills that, if enacted, would let residents recommend which instructional materials teachers in their school district use in their classrooms.
The bills build on a law enacted in June 2017, which enables any Florida resident to challenge the textbooks and other educational tools used in their district as being biased or inaccurate. In the five months after the state’s governor approved the law, residents filed at least seven complaints, including two that challenge the teaching of evolution and human-driven climate change, according to the Associated Press.
But the bills approved this month by the education committees in the state’s Senate and House of Representatives go a step further, because they would allow the public to review educational materials used in class and to suggest alternatives. “They would make it easier for creationists, climate-change deniers and — who knows — flat-Earthers to pester their local school boards about their hobbyhorses,” says Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, California. The final decision on whether to follow the recommendations still rests with the school boards.
Now, I don’t want to see flat-Earther horseshit being presented in schools as an “alternative viewpoint.” I don’t want to see geocentrism, or 6,000 year old Earth claims, or anything else presented as “alternate viewpoints.” One could go on all day, but why?
There’s an obvious answer to all this. Get the damned government out of the education system. Privatize education and let a thousand flowers bloom – if you want to send your kids to a school that emphasizes self-esteem, participation trophies and social justice, knock yourself out. If you want to send your kids to a school that denies Copernican astronomy, go for it. If you want to send your kids to a school with a hard grounding in the classics, in hard science, engineering, whatever, feel free. I have little doubt that the market demand for such schools would result in plenty of competition for parental tuition money.
Here’s the catch in my system: If you send your kids to Touchy-Feely Social Justice Consolidated or GeoCentrist High, the consequences of that are on you (and your kids) when they graduate and can’t find gainful employment due to a crap education.
Harsh? Yes. Rather Darwinian? Sure. Efficient? More so than our current system, and that’s for sure and for certain.