WITH ALL the attention we’ve been devoting to Sarah Palin and her creationism, let us not forget that there are other matters of interest around the country, about which we’ve been quiet lately, but which are still very much alive.
Louisiana. Our last update was almost a month ago: Louisiana Science Education Remains in Chaos. As you recall, the creationist legislature of that state, in the alleged interest of “academic freedom,” passed the misleadingly named “Louisiana Science Education Act,” which authorizes the use of unspecified “supplementary materials” — wink, wink — for teaching evolution in state-run science classes. Their creationist governor, Bobby Jindal, signed the bill. It’s now a bureaucratic tangle, with much of the responsibility in the hands of a state organ known as BESE (the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education). BESE has done nothing so far, but in fairness, they’ve been occupied with scheduling problems caused by hurricanes.
Texas. This state has more than one issue in play. The Texas SBOE (State Board of Education) continues to be dominated by the anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationist policies of that board’s chairman, Don McLeroy, a creationist dentist. Our favorite article about him is: Texas Dentist’s Jihad Against Evolution.
Texas is also the site of Comer v. Scott, a suit filed by Christina Comer against the Texas Education Agency (the “TEA”) and Education Commissioner Robert Scott, alleging that she was unfairly fired for sending an email about a forthcoming event featuring a pro-evolution speaker. We have an article about it here: Comer v. Scott — Background Information. The case still seems to be alive, but moving slowly. Our last update was 5 weeks ago, when the state filed a motion to dismiss: Comer v. Scott: Update for 15 Aug.
Michigan. One of those misleadingly named “academic freedom” anti-evolution bills is still pending in that state’s legislature, about which we last reported back in July: Creationist Legislation in Michigan: Update. We just checked; the bill still languishes in the Senate’s Committee on Education; but the legislature stays in session all year, so this bill isn’t dead yet.
Kansas. Creationist Kathy Martin won a primary battle and is up for re-election to the Kansas State Board of Education in November, as we reported here: Kathy Martin: “It’s in the good Lord’s hands.” We anticipate some interesting action from that contest, because Kathy’s Democrat opponent isn’t a creationist. Kansas has never failed to entertain us.
And don’t forget, next year there will be newly-elected school boards, new state legislators, and new threats to science education.