The entire civilized world knows that Louisiana is a swirling vortex of voodoo and creationism.
In 2008 they were the first state (of only two) to enact — almost unanimously — a version of the Discovery Institute’s anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act (about which see the Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws). It became the infamous Louisiana Science Education Act (the LSEA).
Since then, the legislature has rejected annual attempts to repeal the LSEA, most recently last year — see Zack & the Louisiana Creationism Repeal Bill.
Not only that, but this year there was an attempt in the Louisiana legislature to repeal the obsolete bill that required “Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science,” which was declared unconstitutional in Edwards v. Aguillard back in 1987. That failed too — see Creationism Triumphs in Louisiana Legislature, in which we reported that State Sen. John Milkovich, vice chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said:
Scientific research and developments and advances in the last 100 years — particularly the last 15, 20, 10 years — have validated the biblical story of creation.
That’s how thing are in Louisiana. And they’re about to heat up even more. The New Orleans Times-Picayune has this headline: Science education rewrite could start this summer in Louisiana. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Now that Louisiana education officials have revised the state’s English and mathematics requirements, they’re going back to brew up some science benchmarks — and to hope this time the test tube doesn’t explode. Education Superintendent John White plans to present the revision plan to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s academic committee June 21.
What’s wrong with what they’ve already got? [He asked, sarcastically.] We’re told:
Louisiana’s science benchmarks haven’t been reworked in more than a decade, according to White’s staff. That makes them the third-oldest in the United States. They fall short in engineering and technology, and they aren’t integrated with math. In 2011, the state’s public school students ranked 45th in the country in science.
Not 50th? That’s surprising. Let’s read on:
[Education Superintendent] White’s proposed process for rewriting the standards is virtually identical to the just-completed English and math review. A large group of people — more than 100, mostly teachers — would examine and edit the standards, with copious opportunity for the public to weigh in. The state board would consider the recommendations in March.
This thing is gong to drag on into next year. The news story has a lot of background information. You can click over there to read it all if you like. It finishes with this:
The state board’s academic committee meets at 1 p.m. in Baton Rouge. The meetings are live streamed at bese.louisiana.gov.
We won’t watch but if there’s any news about what’s going to be a long and bitter battle, we’ll let you know.
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