Florida’s new Board of Education chairman supports vouchers and charter schools, but not teaching evolution


  • Image via the Florida Channel/YouTube
Florida has a long history of allowing the dumbest people to run its schools, but a recent appointment of a full-blown evolution denier might be one of the best examples yet.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, last month Andy Tuck was unanimously voted in as the new State Board of Education chairman, and for some reason his anti-science theories weren’t a relevant topic at the hearing.

For those of you who've never heard of Tuck, back in 2008 the Highland County citrus farmer famously stated in a school board meeting that he would not support evolution being taught as fact in schools. "As a person of faith, I strongly oppose any study of evolution as fact at all,” said Tuck. “I’m purely in favor of it staying a theory and only a theory. I won’t support any evolution being taught as fact at all in any of our schools.”

Tuck was appointed by then-Gov. Rick Scott back in 2014, and has previously served as vice-chairman of the Florida School Boards Association-Small District Council. Unsurprisingly, Tuck is also a vocal supporter of Florida’s charter schools and controversial vouchers program.

As the advocacy group Florida Citizens for Science has previously pointed out, Tuck reaffirmed his anti-evolution stance again in 2014 in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, arguing that scientists can’t say for certain how the universe began. “I guess the thing I struggle with is you’re teaching evolution to fifth-graders and you get done and one says, ‘Where did it start?’” said Tuck. “And you say what?”

Well, for starters you say that we don’t know, and that’s perfectly fine because that’s how a scientific theory works.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.