Gov. Bobby Jindal’s rebranding of himself as an “education governor” could be tested this session on an unlikely front if a successful attempt at repealing the Louisiana Science Education Act makes it to his desk.
Led last year by high school senior Zack Kopplin of Baton Rouge, the repeal effort failed in a Senate committee despite the urging of more than 40 Nobel laureates in the sciences and a host of other scientific groups, but Kopplin tells The Ind he’ll be back for the upcoming session in March to give it another go. Now a freshman at Rice University, Kopplin says about 30 more Nobel laureates have signed on to his effort to end the LSEA.
“We’re going to be back stronger this session,” Kopplin vows. “We’re organizing students and we’ve also received the endorsement of 72 Nobel laureate scientists.”
Opponents of the LSEA — a deceptively named measure signed into law in 2008 that ostensibly allows biology teachers in state public high schools to “supplement” the standard curriculum with materials that question long-established and widely accepted tenets of evolutionary biology — characterize the law as a Trojan Horse for creationists. No mainstream scientific organizations endorsed the law before it was enacted; the religious-right Louisiana Family Forum was virtually the only group to back it.
The LSEA passed the Legislature almost unanimously four years ago, but Kopplin says he believes the education-reform agenda of Jindal, who majored in biology, makes repealing the act a nice component of overall reform. “The governor and the Legislature are focusing on education this year,” Kopplin says. “Their first act should be to reform misguided legislation that allows creationism into public school science classrooms. They need to listen to Louisiana’s students and teachers and the international science community and repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act.”
State Rep. Lenar Whitney — one of a handful of Republican candidates vying for Louisiana’s 6th Congressional district — has been described by Cook Political Report analyst David Wasserman as one of the most “frightening or fact-averse candidate[s]” he’s ever met following her reaction to an interview last week.
Mid-August hearing dates have been set for dueling lawsuits over Louisiana's use of the Common Core education standards in public schools.
An investigation into the last-minute passage of a pension hike for the state police superintendent continues, despite Col. Mike Edmonson's decision not to accept the increase.
Safety Jairus Byrd practiced with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday for the first time since his signing in March.
Sentencing has been delayed for a businessman who provided key testimony in the corruption case that resulted in the conviction of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
The spectre of priest sex abuse has returned to haunt the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette following the recent release of an investigative report by Minnesota Public Radio, revealing new allegations of another child predator hiding behind the clerical collar.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Times Square impersonator crackdown; Israel shells Gaza school; Russia hit with sanctions and more national and international news for Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
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The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is considering whether to get involved in a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal for his attempts to undermine use of the Common Core education standards in Louisiana's public schools.