I wanted to highlight the differences between the proponents of academic freedom and the opponents and I found a couple op-eds that illuminate the differences quite nicely. First, the opponents of academic freedom:
The “Academic Freedom Act” is an insult to principals, who will see their autonomy over school functions further diluted if the bill becomes law. Unlike most managers in the private sector, public-school principals are not allowed to exercise authority over their schools and their staffs. They cannot, for example, hire and fire employees – a basic management tool – without bearing sundry red-tape encumbrances.
This bill only adds more of that red tape.
So, we should muzzle our teachers so that principals will be able to more easily fire them if they don’t toe the Dawkinsist line. That doesn’t seem like a compelling reason.
Here’s another disturbing piece of the “Academic Freedom Act”: Students may not be penalized in any way for subscribing “to a particular position or view regarding biological or chemical evolution.” So when little Johnny receives an “F” for an essay in which he has proclaimed the earth was created in a week, little Johnny’s teacher better watch out – the lawyers are coming.
Aside from the obvious fear-mongering that is again on display here, this is a wholly inaccurate protrayal of the bill. If little Johnny can not back up proclamations in his essay using science, the teacher is – even under this bill – more than justified in giving a failing grade. But, if Johnny can back up his proclamations, why should it merit a failing grade? It should perhaps open a door to a deeper discussion of science, which would help the class appreciate science all the more, because it would be interesting and not simply rote recitals of materialist pogroms.
Now, for the counterpoint side – the side that is in favor of academic freedom:
To quote Dr. Francis Grubbs, Ph.D., education consultant to Gibbs Law Firm, from the memorandum he wrote to the FDOE: “There is no attempt to differentiate between what is a validated theory and what is still a hypothesis. However, there seems to be a deliberate attempt to introduce the term and formulate a concept within the developing minds of students so they will never consider the differences between the verifiable concepts of ‘microevolution’ and the unverified understandings of ‘macroevolution.'”
Allowing teachers to dig deeper into the science – as this bill does – would allow us to give the students a better understanding of the delineations between concepts such as micro and macroevolution.
Similarly, one sixth-grade standard begins with, “The scientific theory of the evolution of Earth states …” Evolution of Earth? Where was Darwin on this? I thought evolution had to do changes in living things!
Good point. Evolution has nothing to do with the evolution of the Earth as Darwinists remind us every time the origin of life is brought up, yet they have no trouble with claiming the evolution of the Earth or other things outside of the proper theory when it suits their cause.
I can’t help but wonder what it is that fuels the vitriol when someone challenges the “theory of evolution.”
Decibel levels go up and intellectual pursuit goes down. The clamor to drown out debate of the evolution portion of Florida’s new science standards is typical of political campaigns, not rational discussions of curriculum guidelines.
OK, that’s not a point, but it’s a good observation, and one that follows to the last point:
The sole purpose of the Academic Freedom Act that Storms introduced is to protect teachers and students from persecution if their investigation of evolution leads them to conclusions that differ with the “party line” as it’s stated in the standards.
Yet, those who are using the authority of the Florida Department of Education to impose the religion of evolution are railing against Storms and claiming she is using her position to introduce religious teaching into the classroom when that’s exactly what they are doing!
“Projecting” is the name a psychologist would use for this dissembling by the Darwinists.
It’s sad that we need to protect teachers that don’t observe the Darwinist theology, but it has become necessary. And, make no mistake, a theology it is. The observations of this author are the same observations that many have made, and they point to an irrational defense of a closely held belief, which is what Darwinism has become. This isn’t about science, it’s about a specific theology trying to gain control over the minds of students.
And I think that’s game, set, match to the pro-bill position – the position for academic freedom.