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Florida should join the national K-12 science standards movement

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7 January 2012
To:  Commissioner Gerard Robinson, Florida Department of Education, Tallahassee

Dear Commissioner Robinson:

We are writing to urge you to have Florida join the twenty-six states already listed as "lead state partners" with Achieve in writing the nation's Next Generation Science Standards. Joining the other partners will demonstrate Florida's commitment to leadership in K-12 science education both to the nation and to the state's internal constituencies, including parents, educators and policy-makers.

Florida has already adopted the new Common Core Standards in language arts and mathematics, so a failure to join in the corresponding effort in science will signal a lack of commitment to providing our students with the best opportunities to pursue careers in STEM fields and achieve the scientific literacy necessary to act as fully informed citizens.

Our state has already failed to fully implement the state science standards approved in 2008 at the high school level, and Florida's lowly 50th place ranking on the science section of the ACT test demonstrates the price of this neglect. Pending legislation could erode high school science even further.

Florida cannot afford to place the futures of the state's children and economy at risk by permanently relegating itself to the bottom half of the nation in science.

Feel free to call on us to advance your efforts to improve science education in our state. Sincerely,


Paul Ruscher Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science Florida State University


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