The slow and painfully predictable process of updating the state’s science education standards that we last wrote about in Louisiana’s Science Standards — Update is nearing its inevitable conclusion.
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that Louisiana was the first (of only two) states to enact the so-called Louisiana Science Education Act (the LSEA), which is modeled after the Discovery Institute’s creationist oriented Academic Freedom bill.
Against that background, the state has been working on a plan to revise its science education standards — which are among the oldest in the nation. The plan involved a large group of people — more than 100, mostly teachers — who would examine and edit the standards, with an opportunity for the public to make comments. The committee was scheduled to make its recommendations to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) on 13 Feb 2017. BESE would then study the suggested changes at its March meeting.
As we informed you in our earlier post, the preliminary panel has finished its work. On the surface, things looked good. They rejected the recommendations of the arch-creationist, Wade Warren. However, the panel’s recommendations included his demands as a creationist appendix. The panel recommendations were scheduled to be voted on by BESE when it met on March 7-8.
Now we have the latest results in this amazingly tedious process, reported in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Their headline is Louisiana school board nods to creationism in science standards vote.
What else did you expect? We’re talking about Louisiana, where there’s a creationist behind every tree, under every rock, and in every seat in the state’s legislature. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Louisiana’s top school board is poised to rewrite the state’s two-decades-old science standards for public schools, after a debate that veered into disagreements over evolution. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, known as BESE, gave preliminary support Tuesday (March 7) to the standards, which were drawn up by a review committee packed largely with local educators.
Okay, what happened? We’re told:
With a 9-0 vote, a panel of nearly all BESE members agreed to the standards revisions. But support came only after language was added to remind educators about a Louisiana law that allows public school science teachers to use supplemental materials in their classrooms. Supporters of the addition wanted the language included as a way to encourage teachers to challenge evolution in their science classrooms.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Then the Times-Picayune says:
Gene Mills, president of the conservative Louisiana Family Forum, said evolution is referenced 25 times in the standards, but with no mention of “opposing theories.”
Gasp — in Louisiana, that’s an outrage! Let’s read on:
Science teachers urged the education board to adopt the rewritten benchmarks without language challenging evolution. “These standards are not based on biased opinions, but are supported by years and years of scientific research,” said Kyle Duhon, a science teacher at Jennings High School who helped work on the standards revamp.
BESE doesn’t care what those Darwinists think. This is Louisiana! The news story continues:
BESE members voted 7-2 to include information from the state law in the standards, before the committee then approved the full package without dissent. The board is expected to give final passage to the standards Wednesday.
How wonderful! The standards will remind the state’s teachers that they are free to include Oogity Boogity in all their science lessons. Skipping to the end, the newspaper reminds us:
Louisiana ranks poorly in national comparisons of science testing results.
So there you are, dear reader. The process isn’t over yet, but it appears that in revising its science standards, Louisiana will remain true to its creationist heritage. The Discoveroids must be overjoyed.
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