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Lousiana Is At It Again October 6, 2009

Posted by Bill in Church and State, Evolution, Religion, Schools, Science.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The State of Louisiana is not exactly known for its excellent public schools and with its latest volley against evolution, that trend will continue. Under the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), teachers can use supplemental material to help students “understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.” In January 2009, the Lousiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) adopted a policy about what types of supplementary classroom materials will and will not be allowable under LSEA. A provision that “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 class” was deleted.

Left unresolved was the question of how to handle complaints about whether or not supplemental materials were or were not appropriate. The Department of Education recommended that any complaints undergo an initial review by a three-member panel named by the agency, then go to the state board for a final decision. However, the BESE evidently didn’t want people who know anything about science reviewing such materials because it revised the procedure so that when there is a challenge to materials, they will be reviewed by a panel of five, two of which will be selected by the DOE, one reviewer will be named by the challenger, one by the school and one by the publisher of the challenged materials.

Excuse me? One of the persons responsible for reviewing challenged materials to determine whether or not they violate the BESE policy will be selected by the publisher of the challenged materials? Gee, let me think. What kind of recommendation do you think THAT person will make?

BESE: Hey, you, Publisher’s Representative! Do you think these materials violate the Board Policy against promoting a religious doctrine?

Publisher’s Representative: No. Absolutely not. The materials promote Creation Science which everyone knows is not at all biblical in nature but is definitely scientifically based.

My guess is that Louisiana enjoys having schools that rank in the bottom five in the nation. Maybe with this new policy, they can actually come in last on the list!



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