Louisiana Creationism: Fireworks Today?

AS YOU KNOW, the status of creationism in Louisiana’s public schools has been placed into the hands of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). They have monthly meetings, and publish their agenda ten days in advance. When set, that agenda appears here: BESE Monthly Agendas. They have a meeting scheduled for today — 02 December 2008.

It’s difficult to find what you want there, but if you go here: BESE Meeting Packets, and then click on Student/School Performance and Support Committee, you get a monster 125 page pdf file, filled with bureaucratic material.

Your Curmudgeon has suffered with this document. Deeply buried in there, starting at the bottom of page 93, is a discussion of “Science Education,” and this appears on the next page. The bold font was added by us:

D. BESE shall determine which supplementary materials shall be prohibited from use in science classes in public schools according to the procedure below.

1. Any citizen may submit materials … for consideration by BESE.

2. The DOE will make a recommendation to BESE based on the following criteria. (a) The supplemental materials must be grade-level appropriate. (b) The information contained in the supplemental materials must be scientifically sound and supported by empirical evidence. (c) The materials shall not promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion. (d) Materials that teach creationism or intelligent design or that advance the religious belief that a supernatural being created humankind shall be prohibited for use in science classes.

These rules are proposed. No doubt they will be controversial. We haven’t waded through the entire document, so we don’t know what else is lurking there. But this is on today’s agenda. It should be an interesting meeting.

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2 responses to “Louisiana Creationism: Fireworks Today?

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