A high school student in the state capital is spearheading an effort to repeal a 2008 law that advocates of mainstream biology education characterize as a Trojan horse for creationism. Zach Kopplin, a senior at Baton Rouge Magnet High, is targeting the Louisiana Science Education Act in the upcoming legislative session that begins in April.
The law, passed unanimously in the state Senate and by a 94-3 vote in the House — every member of Lafayette’s delegation voted in favor of the act — allows for the teaching of “supplemental materials” in high school biology classes. Those supplemental materials are widely understood to be related to Intelligent Design, a pseudo science concocted by creationists to do an end run around repeated federal court rulings barring the teaching of religion in public schools. ID posits that because life is so complex there must have been an “intelligent designer,” i.e., a supreme being, that created it. The LSEA was pushed primarily by Louisiana Family Forum, a conservative Christian group.
State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, has announced she will sponsor the legislation.
The effort to repeal LSEA comes on the heels of a battle late last year over the state school board’s purchase of mainstream biology textbooks that make no mention of Intelligent Design. Reason won the day over the objections of LFF and BESE member Dale Bayard.
Kopplin is the son of Andy Kopplin, the former chief of staff to Govs. Mike Foster and Kathleen Blanco who now serves as first deputy mayor and chief administrative officer for the city of New Orleans.
Read more about the fight over science education in Louisiana public school’s in The Ind’s Dec. 8 cover story, “Devolve!”
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DEC 4 This post on Philebrity, an arty Philadelphia blog, previews the lecture Bobby Jindal gave last night in the City of Brotherly Love. Sadly, not a lot of love headed Bobby's way in this post, which indicates a level of disdain for our Guv generally limited to residents of our lovely state.
DEC 4 The NOLA Defender blog goes old-school next year, this post tells us. The blog, which features news and extensive arts coverage, will publish free print versions quarterly, the story says. In a business that seems to be heading away from the printed version, it is nice to see that going the other way for a change.
DEC 4 There's another story on state employee abuse of public credit cards in the news, and blogger CB Forgotston has the solution: get rid of them. We don't need them; it's more work without them to accomplish what you need to accomplish, but what's wrong with that, CB wants to know. The legislature needs to pass a law forbidding the things, he says.
DEC 4 Here's one of two recent posts on the Lens about spending at two charter school operations in New Orleans. This one is about training for less than 200 KIPP employees in Vegas -- which cost nearly $120,000. That's $120,000, with six figures. The other operation was the Friends of King schools, which sent the staff, including eight of nine board members, to a retreat at the beach. That cost $70,000. So far, the Lens is the only media covering this. One wonders if that would be the case if this level of spending had happened in a public school operation.
DEC 4 In the effort to lay blame for our disappearing coast, a board charged with protecting our coast voted to sue the US Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday, this story on NOLA.com says. One suit will seek to force the corps to pay for damage caused by the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet project, and the other will seek to force the corps to pay for a levee system in Algiers on the West Bank. Interesting.
DEC 4 Thanks to blogger Robert Mann's Facebook page, we know about this story in the Washington Blade, which says that the Louisiana National Guard has decided to process same-sex partner benefits. The story was posted Tuesday, following an interview with a guard chief by the Blade. That same day, the Advertiser ran this story, which said Louisiana is still a hold-out on same sex benefits. So which story is correct?
DEC 4 One Alabama fan shot another dead, this WWL story tells us, because she didn't feel the other fan was upset enough about Alabama's loss to Auburn. The women were at a party, and the dead lady, mom to three children, was joking with other party-goers about the loss, which didn't sit well with the shooter, the story says. Police think alcohol might have been a factor. Ya think?
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