You are already aware of Louisiana Governor Jindal’s Creationist Voucher Program and Zachary Kopplin’s efforts to publicize and defeat it. We’re pleased to report that news of this bayou abomination is being reported nationally.
Some of the articles are from the AP, which we won’t touch, but this appears at the website of the Washington Post: Louisiana’s pretend voucher ‘accountability’ plan. It’s by Valerie Strauss.
After describing how Louisiana private schools funded by state vouchers aren’t accountable for their failures (a problem we’ve overlooked in our focus on creationism), the reporter says, with bold font added by us:
Incidentally, this is being championed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, the man that presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has praised specifically for his education policies. Jindal is said to be on Romney’s short list for vice president, but secretary of education may be more likely.
Jindal’s on our short list too. He’s short (“approximately” 5’9″). The Post article continues:
The voucher program is a result of a new law that allows the state to offer vouchers to more than half of the students in the state, expand the number of privately managed charter schools and do other scary things, including giving letter grades to preschoolers. It’s rightly been called an assault on public education.
Even if the private, voucher-funded schools were as splendid as it must have been for the Athenians to learn from Socrates, they’d still be opposed by the teachers’ unions, so they’d be politically controversial regardless of quality. But there’s more involved here than union opposition. Let’s read on:
Though some 450,000 students were eligible for vouchers, about 10,000 applied, with most of the slots in Christian schools that don’t appear to have the resources to absorb them. What’s more, many of these schools use curriculum that promotes Young Earth Creationism, which holds the belief that the universe is no older than 10,000 years old despite definitive scientific evidence that it is billions of years old.
It won’t be Socrates teaching the kiddies, it’ll be some creationist nut-job.
The rest of the column quotes from Zack’s website, describing the creationist texts at several state-funded private schools. So Zack’s work is getting the recognition it deserves.
There’s also an article about Zack and the Louisiana mess at the National Center for Science Education: Vouchers for creationism in Louisiana? One excerpt should be sufficient to encourage you to click over there to read it:
Louisiana is about to spend almost twelve million dollars to fund the teaching of creationism, charges Zack Kopplin, famous for organizing the effort to repeal the so-called Louisiana Science Education Act. In Kopplin’s sights now is a controversial new voucher program in the state that uses public school funds to pay for tuition and certain fees at private schools for students who attend low-performing public schools and whose family income is below 250% of the federal poverty level.
And one of our clandestine operatives, code-named “Bayou Boy,” sent us a link to the AP story, this one appearing in The Advocate of Baton Rouge: Vouchers get dose of religion. The AP mentions Zack Kopplin too.
So dear reader, we’re left wondering: Will Louisiana persist in implementing Jindal’s program of state-funded creationist schools? And more importantly, will Romney — if he wins the election — have Jindal as his Vice President or Secretary of Education?
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