A Louisiana board bans creationism

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The Orleans Parish School Board “OK’d policies that prohibit the teaching of creationism or so-called ‘intelligent design’ in its half-dozen direct-run schools, or the purchasing of textbooks that promulgate those perspectives,” according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune (December 18, 2012). As specified in the documents for the board’s December 18, 2012, meeting, the new policies provide (PDF, pp. 100 and 101), in part, that no “science textbook [shall] be approved which presents creationism or intelligent design as science or scientific theories” and that “[no] teacher of any discipline of science shall teach creationism or intelligent design in classes designated as science classes.”


Why were these policies proposed? Noting that they were the brainchild of the outgoing president of the board, Thomas Robichaux, the Times-Picayune(November 20, 2012) previously speculated, “The move can be read in two ways”: as a way for Robichaux “to leave his mark on issues he feels passionately about” and as reflecting “a concern that the board may eventually feel pressure to take a more religious bent.” The blog of the weekly Gambit (December 19, 2012) reported that the only speaker on the textbook policy at the meeting was Zack Kopplin: “‘Creationism certainly is not science,’ he said, warning that students not only will not meet higher education standards, but they ‘won’t find New Orleans jobs in the Bio District.’”

Written By: NCSE
continue to source article at ncse.com

12 COMMENTS

  1. While the policy may (will) have a positive effect, it’s very badly written. Why not define science in the policy, then say that any text book for science classes cannot contain “theories” that do not meet the definition? I feel that the current wording of this policy will be attacked as prejudiced against creationism, when it could have avoided that (noble, but perhaps rhetorically powerful) charge by excluding unscientific world views in general, including creationism, rather than by singling it out by name.

    Will the teaching of non-creationist, but equally unscientific, theories be excluded as well?

  2. Perhaps too narrowly written but one needs to remember this is not a law, it is a school policy set by a school board. Creationism/ID is the problem here, but your idea about sticking to the definition of science and excluding the things that do not meet this definition may be the way to go here,

    Time will tell.

    ( I am thinking the NCSE may have played a part here )

  3.   Why were these policies proposed?

    Obviously, it is  because Louisiana is full of cretinists who will take any opportunity to pervert education with their scientific illiteracy!
    In a scientifically educated community, no such bans would be required, unless ignoramus infiltrators were found in the staffing of schools or in the selection of school books.
    Unfortunately  … .. . . .. . ..

  4. Excuse me? Where do you get off calling my city, my people, and by extension ME, cretins? New Orleans is a cosmopolitan city with renowned private, and yes, Catholic schools – all of which teach evolution as fact. That our school board should have to pass such policy to protect our public school children from Jindal is pathetic, but at least they did it, instead of pontificating on websites about things they know nothing at all about.

    If any of you were in Public Service, you wouldn’t have time to criticize strangers who passed an important policy despite political backlash and infighting. Stop being naive, ditch the criticisms of those who do instead of those who act, and an apology to New Orleanians everywhere would be in order. 

    New Orleans, not the Jindal voting one stoplight edge of texas pesthole DeRidder. We are European. They are Southern.Do not confuse apples and oranges.

  5. Jindal has done much worse – the school voucher program, using tax dollars to send public school students to private schools. He included the worst sort of segregation academies who teach a Bible only curriculum, with no science at all. Fortunately the courts aren’t liking this law, but it’s a HUGE mess.

    If we were guaranteed either Newman school educations, or only subversive nuns (we have great Catholic schools cranking out absolutely heretical questioners here) it would help the appalling public school system. But this is an ALEC bill, generated by the GOP to quash public education and create a serf underclass. Jindal has been cranking ALEC written legislation through the Legislature, all of it about God ‘n Merica. 

    But this is big with the rattlesnake handling caste in the North and West of the State. In the South and Southeast there’s a fight on.

    This goes on in every GOP controlled State. We are having an Apocalypse after all. And Louisiana is no worse than anywhere else; We have Vitter, not Bachmann. The lesser of evils.

  6. Hi TheBunny.  Alan4discussion did not mention New Orleans in his Comment, just Louisiana the State.

    Bobby Jindal is serving his 2nd 4 year term as Governor of the State, so he must have got a majority of the votes twice, therefore it may not be ‘full of cretinists’, just a majority who elected religious, anti-science politicians and school board members who enacted the creationist-friendly LSEA in 2008.

    As for interested folk knowing nothing about the situation, NCSE has had 17 news reports about these Louisiana science education and Voucher Program issues since 2010.

  7. TheBunny
    Excuse me?
    Where do you get off calling my city, my people, and by extension ME, cretins? New Orleans is a cosmopolitan city with renowned private, and yes, Catholic schools – all of which teach evolution as fact.

    I think you have misread my post:-
    I did not mention New Orleans, or the RCC, and am well aware of the RCC policy on “Theistic evolution” – http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/T… – which for the most part does teach evolution scientifically – apart from a few god-did-it bits – mainly about purposes and humans.

    That our school board should have to pass such policy to protect our public school children from Jindal is pathetic, but at least they did it, instead of pontificating on websites about things they know nothing at all about.

     

    Indeed!  I agree – and implied so in my post.
    I was referring to the likes of Jindal and his evangelical Young Earth Creationists who infest Louisiana!  Their arguments display profound ignorance.

    If any of you were in Public Service, you wouldn’t have time to criticize strangers who passed an important policy despite political backlash and infighting. Stop being naive, ditch the criticisms of those who do instead of those who act, and an apology to New Orleanians everywhere would be in order.

    I spent 7 years as a successful (UK) chair of a board of school governors and more time as a governors’ elected representative at local government level supervising educational decision making ion the wider area.
    I am well aware of the sort of political fighting which is needed to defend standards in education and commend those who make the efforts to do so.  
    I do come from an area where these battles about science have been largely won, so have a perception of the further progress which is still needed in your state. 

    Carry on the good work.

  8. Just the other day on Jeopardy!, Bobby Jindal’s mug was the “answer”
    in the ‘State Governors’ category.
    All the other “answers” were written.

    Makes me wonder if  Merv Griffin was making a non too subtle endorsement for him.
    Ah, the power of money and television.

  9. CdnMacAtheist
    As for interested folk knowing nothing about the situation, NCSE has had 17 news reports about these Louisiana science education and Voucher Program issues since 2010.

     

    … Not to mention several discussions like this one on this site! 

    Louisiana school science – your support needed please – http://old.richarddawkins.net/

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