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must meet certain state standards to partici- pate in the program. Family Life is listed on the Department of Education website as a "participating" institution. (The school did not respond to multiple News Leader phone calls or an email.) Sarasota Christian School also made Kopplin's list, but seemingly because of an acronym error. According to its website, the school has a program dubbed ACE (Accelerated College Education). In education circles, ACE also stands for Accelerated Christian Education. Kopplin tells the News Leader his research is likely just "the tip of the iceberg." The schools he found are only the ones who made their curriculum af´Čüliations apparent. "They put that right on their website," Kopplin says. "There are a lot of schools that don't have a website or they don't put their curriculum on their website." Jim Wise, a member of the board of the Sarasota-Manatee chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, tells the News Leader he thinks the state fund- ing may be unconstitutional at both the state and federal levels. But he's not surprised. The approach to evolution even in public schools leaves much to be desired, he says. If science teachers cover evolution, they often teach it as controversial, which, among scientists, it isn't. And then there are those who don't cover it at all. "I knew public school teachers that didn't teach evolution," he adds. "In many cases, it was because of their not wanting to have to deal with pressure from parents and school board members who are fundamentalists." Despite being concerned that there's little oversight on the issue, Wise feels the topic of evolution is being "well-handled" overall in Sarasota County schools. Kopplin says that since posting his research, little action has been taken. But that doesn't mean people want creationism taught in pub- lic schools. In Louisiana, such measures are "popular in the Legislature," he adds. "They're not popular in the state." Kopplin insists his fight isn't against the school choice movement or private schools that teach what they think is best. It's about public science education dollars going to schools that don't teach science. "It's just bad to teach creationism," he says. % Share stories by clicking the icon in the menubar and choosing to share via e-mail, post to Facebook or Twitter, or many other sharing options. QUICK TIP Sarasota News Leader March 7, 2014 Page 56

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