Senator Alan Hays and Representative Bryan Nelson have filed companion bills (SB 1830 and HB 1249) to establish a “career diploma” that drops Algebra 2 and the physical science (chemistry/physics) requirements for graduation. The three-science course requirement, the biology requirement and the biology end-of-course test remain.
Let’s try this again:
Many educators and parents worry that the new high school graduation requirements signed into law last spring, especially the requirements to pass Algebra 2 and either Chemistry 1 or Physics 1, will keep many non-college bound students from graduating. At first blush, the bills filed by Senator Hays and Representative Nelson seem to address these concerns.
But the leadership of the Florida Department of Education already solved this problem last summer by authorizing school districts to use “Principles of Technology” to satisfy the “chemistry or physics” requirement for graduation. In other words, the concerns that parents and educators have expressed about keeping hard-working non-college bound students from graduating are unfounded.
In this context, the companion bills are simply statements by Senator Hays and Representative Nelson that non-college bound students do not need to be scientifically literate.
Senator Hays and Representative Nelson should withdraw their bills.
Sorry for the repetition. The legislation to stupidize Florida’s high school students is moving faster than I can read.
(I know, I know – “stupidize” is not a word. But it should be.)
Have I mentioned recently that Florida placed 50th in the nation last year on the ACT Science Section, ahead of only Mississippi (them again!). The ACT Science Section is the broadest available measure of scientific literacy among America’s high school seniors.
But here in Florida, we will not settle! We will not settle for 50th! That’s not what Florida is about! We want to be…51st! We salute Senators Alexander and Hays for giving us ways to challenge Mississippi for that 51st position!!
[Sorry, it's been a long week and I'm a bit punchy.]