When Andy Tuck ascended to the chairmanship of Florida’s Board of Education in July, his board colleagues praised his dedication to public education — particularly his focus on the needs of rural students and schools.

They did not talk about his specific views on any of the many issues coming before the board, such as the ongoing review of academic standards. Nor did he.

It didn’t take long, though, for some activists with long memories to recall Tuck’s 2008 vote, as a Highlands County School Board member, opposing a proposal to include teaching evolution as a fact in the state’s standards.

Highlands Today, a now-defunct newspaper, quoted Tuck as saying, “as a person of faith, I strongly oppose any study of evolution as fact at

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