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Tallahassee Florida students are pretty much last in the nation for science."

That's a shocking statement, and even more so when made by a Florida Department of Education bureau chief. But that was one of the conclusions Todd Clark delivered to the Florida Organization of Instructional Leaders, a gathering of district officials from around the state. His presentation, titled "State of the State for Florida Student Achievement" and published Nov. 19 in the Orlando Sentinel education blog School Zone, was a courageously candid assessment of the state's public education situation.

Such a declaration should be a rallying cry for the state's policy-makers, since the twin goals of K-12 science education — scientific literacy for all and the education of a greater number of excellent scientists and engineers — are necessary steps for Florida to make the transition to an innovation economy.

Paul Cottle: Being 'last in the nation' won't spark innovation | | Tallahassee Democrat