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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Florida Rejoices about Test Results

The news from the state of Florida was largely positive in regards to the most recent scores from the FCAT exam. Grades improved for most schools and the Governor (Jeb Bush) praised the results. While the news has been viewed as positive, I think it's important to realize exactly where Florida stands in the grand scheme of education. Most importantly, I think it's critical to examine this positive news in terms of science education in the State.
Florida boasts the Kennedy space center, Scripps Institute, several major land and sea grant universities in addition to many leading technological industries. Despite the science all around us, the Fordham Institute gave the state an "F" for its science standards last year. In terms of science education, Florida lags behind many other states in the Union. The scores on the Science part of the FCAT were also disappointing. Florida may boast about higher FCAT scores, but it should hang its head in shame when it comes to science education.
Fortunately, the science standards come up for review next summer and there is an ongoing effort by numerous organizations to see that the next time we are evaluated our science standards move up to "A" level. It's a first step in turning education in Florida around. For those who are interested in helping in this effort, please consider joining Florida Citizens for Science (http://www.flcfs.org).


Joe Meert


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