Tuesday, December 18, 2007



Well, it's pretty clear what Chris Comer's next move should be ... apply for a job in the Florida Department of Education!

It seems that one Selena "Charlie" Carraway, the program director of the department's instructional materials office, went way beyond the mere forwarding of an e-mail notice of an appearance by a noted university professor and opponent of forcing creationism into public school science classes. Ms. Carraway circulated an e-mail that started:

My name is Charlie Carraway and I'm a member of Sopchoppy Southern Baptist Church, Sopchoppy, Florida, but I also work for the Florida Department of Education as the Director of the Office of Instructional Materials. That means I oversee the adoption process in the state, and I work in close proximity to the folks in the Office of Mathematics and Science, who have been in charge of the revision of the science standards. I say all of this, obviously, to give this e-mail credibility, so that you'll continue to read and pass on the information I'm sharing with you.

She proceeds to show her ignorance of science by hauling out this hoary bit of nonsense, breathlessly warning her correspondents that the new standards, if adopted, will "explicity teach evolution - and not as a theory!!!" It's indeed worth triple exclamation points ... just not in the way she thinks. It continues:

Please join me in keeping these standards from being approved and adopted by our State Board of Education at their December meeting. The least we can do is make sure evolution is presented to our children and grandchildren as a theory as it has been in the past. Hopefully, though, we can do better than that.

Now, after having hijacked the prestige of her official position (while objectively demonstrating her unfitness for it) in service of an anti-educational cause, what is the reaction? Was it termination, reassignment or forced resignation? Nope. She was brutally counselled!!!! (Four exclamations!)

Carraway certainly has the right to express her opinion and participate in public debate as a member of the general public, DOE spokesman Tom Butler said.

But she appears to have stepped over the line when she used her department job to lend credibility to a private e-mail that has been forwarded throughout the state urging people to oppose the proposed standard.

"It is inappropriate for any department employee to use their public position to advocate their personal positions," Butler told the Gradebook.
Which just highlights the fact that the promotion of creationism is not -- and should not be -- a public position of any Department of Education.

I just cannot get my head around how stupid some of our educational leaders are. It's a wonder these people can spell their names correctly. Then again, maybe they just get the IT folks to set up macros for their names - less to remember that way.
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