Archive for Louisiana

The signature heard ’round the world…by those who care, anyway

Posted in Education, Evolution with tags , , , , , , on June 27, 2008 by airtightnoodle

The governor of Louisiana has signed SB 733, the “academic freedom” bill that many are worried will let religious ideas creep into science classrooms.

You can read an article about it here.

All I can say at the moment is that I hope Louisiana science educators use this as a way to get truly excellent scientific material into the classroom. NOVA’s “Judgment Day”, or the series online from PBS called “Evolution”, perhaps. By the way, you can look at those here.

Texas GOP’s platform supports intelligent design

Posted in Education, Evolution with tags , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2008 by airtightnoodle

Thanks to Tony’s Curricublog, I came across the 2008 platform of the Texas GOP.

According to their platform:

We support objective teaching and equal treatment of strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories, including Intelligent Design. We believe theories of life origins and environmental theories should be taught as scientific theory, not scientific law. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind.

This language is certainly reminiscent of the anti-evolution legislation that just passed in Louisiana.

Get ready to fight for science, Texans.

Update: The state of science education in Louisiana

Posted in Education, Evolution with tags , , , , , on June 22, 2008 by airtightnoodle

An editorial in the New York Times calls on Bobby Jindal to veto SB 733.

The Sensuous Curmudgeon gives us an update on the efforts of the LA Coalition for Science, whose website now has a list of scientific organizations that have called upon Jindal to veto this legislation.

Again, to see how to contact the governor and read the brief email I sent him myself, go here.

Contact LA governor about science education

Posted in Education, Evolution, science with tags , , , , , , , on June 18, 2008 by airtightnoodle

The Louisiana Coalition for Science has posted their open letter to Governor Jindal on their website here. You can use this letter as a resource for drafting your own. You can email Governor Jindal at this site.

Though I am not a citizen of the state of Louisiana, I emailed Governor Jindal as well. Here is the text of my letter (feel free to adapt for your own purposes if you’d like):

Dear Governor Jindal:

As a concerned citizen in one of your neighboring states, I implore you to heed the letter sent to you recently regarding SB 733 from the LA Coalition for Science (http://lasciencecoalition.org). As a religious person and science teacher myself, I stand in agreement with the concerns that this legislation is deceptively seeking ways to bring non-scientific ideas into science classrooms.

I am sure you are in agreement with me that students in our country need a strong background in science. Supporting legislation aimed at teaching the “weaknesses” of theories will not lead to a strong background. To be sure, teachers needs to be showing students how to think for themselves, but at the same time we must provide them with a solid foundation of the facts as we currently know them.

Already creationist/intelligent design groups are trumpeting this bill as a victory for their agendas; they aim to use it to slide their own ideas into our science classrooms, even though their ideas are not scientific. This controversy is not a scientific controversy, but a political and religious one.

I pray you demonstrate your commitment to improving our students’ education by vetoing SB 733.

Bill to overhaul teaching in Louisiana passes

Posted in Evolution with tags , , , , , on June 17, 2008 by airtightnoodle

Yesterday the bill in Louisiana passed in the Senate.

…the Senate voted 36-0 without debate to go along with the same version of the proposal that the House passed last week 94-3.

The measure, Senate Bill 733, now goes to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is expected to sign it.

It would allow science teachers to use supplemental materials, in addition to state-issued textbooks, on issues like evolution, global warming and human cloning.

What supplemental materials might these be?

You can read more about it here.

Also, if you’d like to email the governor of Louisiana to tell him what you think, see this link: http://www.gov.la.gov/index.cfm?md=form&tmp=email_governor

Thanks to Stacy for the contact info.

In today’s news: bill in Louisiana would allow teachers to “teach the controversy”

Posted in Education, Evolution with tags , , , , , on June 12, 2008 by airtightnoodle

Full article may be found here.

One line I found slightly amusing was:

Supporters also noted the bill clearly states it can’t be used to promote any “religious doctrine.”

It’s going to be pretty darn difficult to keep religion separate in such circumstances when most promoters of these bills are pursuing this for religious reasons.

Also,

Mr. Stern said a survey of Louisiana public school science teachers a few years ago showed that many felt uncomfortable teaching evolution, global warming and other topics that “tend to be taught from only one perspective.” He said the bill’s aim isn’t to inject “intelligent design,” but to let teachers freely present the strengths and weaknesses of evolution and other topics, he said.

It doesn’t say WHY the teachers felt uncomfortable. Maybe they were uncomfortable because they feared the backlash from fundamentalists for teaching their children evolution.

Sigh.