I’m so sorry, Florida

Minnesotans are going to be apologizing for this for a good long while (Why? Because we’re so darn nice and we hate to see pain inflicted on others). Cheri Yecke is clawing her way to greater responsibility in the Florida educational system.

On the other side of the equation, state K-12 chancellor Cheri Yecke has announced that she will seek the commissioner’s chair.

Yecke, who has led the education departments in Virginia and Minnesota, came to Florida two years ago, abandoning a run for Congress in Minnesota.

“The whole battle about standards and accountability was fought and won here a long time ago,” Yecke told Times. “Folks in Florida are moving forward in a very positive way. To me, that is just so refreshing. I would like to stay here.”

Yecke was head of our state education department for a time. She’s a creationist sympathizer with a sneaky, conniving way of weaseling the intelligent design agenda into the school curriculum. Floridans, you don’t want her running your education system. You might want to think instead about passing a law not allowing Yecke to approach within 30 yards of any school.

Greg Laden comments on our Yecke history, too. We were scarred, I tell you, scarred.


  1. bernarda says

    I hope that neither Florida nor Minnesota have gotten to this point.

    “UK universities are teaching “gobbledygook” following the explosion in science degrees in complementary medicine, a leading expert says.

    There are now 61 complementary medicine courses of which 45 are science degrees, the Nature journal reported.

    University College London Professor David Colquhoun urged watchdogs to act, as complementary medicine was not based on scientific evidence.”


    “Professor Colquhoun, of the university’s department of pharmacology, cited the example of homeopathy.

    He said it had barely changed since the start of the 19th Century and was “more like religion than science”.

    He also pointed out that some supporters of nutritional therapy have been known to claim that changes in diet can cure Aids.

    He said the teaching of complementary medicine under a science banner was worse than “Mickey Mouse” degrees in golf management and baking that have sprung up in recent years as “they do what it says on the label”.”

    There is more here.


    Thanks to Butterflies and Wheels.

  2. Diego says

    Can’t y’all just take her back, pretty please? Jeb (who exerted the full force of his power on education “reforms”) is finally gone and we’re actually starting to get optimistic about Crist. Still having Yecke around though is that one persistent cloud that makes you wonder if the rain is over or whether it’s just a break between storms.


  3. says

    The standards mess aside (she went as far as to pull out the Santorum amendment as if it was law on a local news program and suggest that it meant MN should be teaching creationism).

    She is also very pro-voucher. She filled many top spots at the DoE with pro-voucher friends (some could still be there). If you consider that one of the strategies of voucher proponents is to make public education look so bad that vouchers are necessary, the last place we want them is at the top of the Dept. of Education.

    Florida…just say no.

  4. K says

    It’s not like a Florida education can get worse. They focus on the FCAT instead of teaching, they’re behind the Northern states by 2 years (they actually bumped me up 2 grades when I moved down here and I was a mere unmotivated C student, hardly a super-genius), and this (the poor educational system allowed here) is exactly why I homeschool. They actually have a law that demands that all students HAVE to be reading by 4th grade! My boy was reading by 4 years and he’s no super-genius either, but I can surely do better than Florida.

  5. Jeffrey Shallit says

    Her last name is evidently an acronym for Young Earth Creationist Kook Educationist.

  6. frog says

    Kristine, you just figured out that No child left behind was a reference to the fundamentalist apocalypse?

    That’s the reason that trying to understand the fundamentalist point-of-view is a worthwhile exercise, as painful as it may be. Otherwise, they can blind-side you, or speak openly in code. They have an open conspiracy – people need to understand the belief system that underlies it so they can battle it.

  7. says

    I’m sorry, there are nice people in Minnesota, but Minnesotans are not, as a rule nice, unless by ‘nice’ you mean the original ‘small, and simple’. I lived in Morris for seven years and it was the worst seven of my life.

    I remember when someone vandalized the ‘Swine Heath Center’ and they call the only black kid in town’s parents, so make sure they knew where he was that night. They of course replied that they did indeed know where he was: in their hotel room…in Arizona…where the police had called them.

    Sorry PZ, they’re not nice, they just like to pretend they are.

  8. craig says

    I have four nieces in Florida schools. They sure do focus on the FCAT… rallies, posters, my 6 and 8 year old nieces told me how they fed them sugary snacks before the tests, and during a snack-break halfway through, etc.

    No word on whether or not their desks were anointed with oil or not…

  9. says

    I see that the Florida Citizens for Science are prepping for the upcoming fight regarding academic standards by familiarizing themselves with the procedures used by Yecke to try to undermine education in Minnesota in 2004:


    I went to one of the “Town Hall Meetings” for people to comment on the science standards and the board had to listen to yahoo after yahoo talk about how evolution is “Only a Theory.” Also had one professor of philosophy explain that ID could become part of the science curriculum only after they had shown some science.

    Yecke claimed that she was just an ordinary citizen who became alarmed when she learned what is “really” behind Outcome-Based Education and that is how she got into the whole education debate.

    I am sure she will find many friends in Florida, but I am not going to apologize to them. After all, they voted in the carpetbagging Bush for governor, so they must like bad government.