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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2018/06/22

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

Good news from Collier County, Florida, and encouraging news from Michigan.


"The Collier County School Board voted 3-2 on Monday [June 18, 2018]
to adopt a new batch of science textbooks after residents filed
objections to more than a dozen of them," according to the Naples
Daily News (June 19, 2018).

The objections were filed pursuant to a 2017 law that, as NCSE
previously reported, allows any county resident -- not just parents as
previously -- to challenge instructional materials used in the public
schools, and requires the school districts to establish a formal
process to hear such complaints, including appointing an "unbiased and
qualified hearing officer" not "an employee or agent of the school

In Collier County, according to the Naples Daily News, "[t]he overall
theme of the objections was a lack of balance and context in
references to evolution and climate change and the treatment of those
topics as fact rather than theory." The meeting lasted five hours,
"the vast majority of which was spent hearing from objectors [Michael]
Mogil, [Keith] Flaugh and [Joseph] Doyle, none of whom have children
attending Collier public schools."

Similar objections have been filed elsewhere in Florida, including in
Brevard, Martin, and Nassau counties, but the Collier County school
board's vote was particularly significant because the law was
vigorously supported by groups based in Collier County whose members
acknowledged that they objected to the treatment of evolution and
climate change, among other topics, in textbooks used in the public

On Florida Citizens for Science's blog (June 19, 2017), Brandon
Haught, himself a science teacher, reported wide support for the
integrity of science education at the meeting: "Collier County isn't
actually a seething nest of creationists and climate change deniers."

For the story in the Naples Daily News, visit: 

For the 2017 law, visit: 

For Brandon Haught's report on Florida Citizens for Science's blog, visit: 

And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in Florida, visit: 


Half of the members of Michigan's state board of education would
oppose the new proposed state social studies standards, which were
revised to downplay climate change among other topics, according to a
report from Bridge magazine (June 14, 2018).

The revisions that affect the treatment of climate change are
primarily at the grade 6 level,  where a reference to global climate
change was removed, and at the grade 7 level, where a section on
geography was largely deleted.

"I know the Democrats feel strongly and are concerned" about the
proposed changes, board member Michelle Fecteau, a Democrat from
Detroit, told Bridge, adding, "If there is a 4-4 split, it doesn't

Casandra Ulbrich, a Democrat from Rochester Hills, explained that she
and her three Democratic colleagues could move to amend the standards,
or decline to vote on them, or vote them down and return them for
further work.

The final decision will be taken by the state board of education. In
the meantime, public comment on the standards will be accepted at a
series of public meetings around the state and also on-line until June
30, 2018.

For the story from Bridge magazine, visit: 

For the draft standards (PDF), visit: 

For the on-line comment form, visit: 

And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in Michigan, visit: 

Thanks for reading. And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- -- where you can always find the latest news on 
evolution and climate education and threats to them.


Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
1904 Franklin Street, Suite 600
Oakland CA 94612-2922
fax 510-788-7971 

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